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To Kimono, or not to kimono?

That is the question…

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MEblackkimono

 

orangekimono

 

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Ever since I first realized that kimonos were coming into style, I was hooked. I love that they each one is so unique and colorful. They are also super comfortable and cozy, and they hide a lot well (and I can braid the fringe when I am bored). But since I turned 30, I have started to question my wardrobe choices seriously for the first time: should I wear leopard print jeans (probably not) should I wear tube tops and short skirts? How about sparkly things (I love some good sequins)? I can only be thankful for friends for being good hearted and not laughing in my face when I show up wearing azctec print, acid wash, holey jeans.

So this summer, while browsing pinterest endlessly for style tips, I started to notice that most women wearing kimonos or shawls were much younger than me. My thoughts were further confirmed when I was in Chicago during the Lollapoolza music festival. Kimonos seemed to be an essential piece of the 20 something’s summer music festival wardrobe, the other essential wardrobe piece: coochie hugging shorts and lots of under butt (Thanks Miley!).  Let’s just say I had some serious concern for the reproductive systems of these girls because it can’t be healthy to have your shorts jammed up your hoo-ha all day long! Think about your future ladies. and I realize I am dangerously close to wearing hoo ha shorts in the last picture, but I got tights and boots on and no under booty I promise!) 

I don’t say this all this to judge these young girls because heaven knows what I was doing and what I was wearing (mostly musty thrift store finds) when I was in college…I am all for being young and care free, exploring new things, expressing yourself and all those other things that come with the roller coaster ride that is the 20’s; I just have to remember that I am not in my 20’s anymore and maybe I shouldn’t be dressing like a 21 year old and making a fool out of myself.

BUT, all that being said…I like my kimonos and my shawls and won’t stop wearing them…but if I start asking you about molly, then someone needs to have a talk with me!

 

what do you guys think about kimonos? If anyone has a picture of their favorite kimono, or favorite outfit with a shawl, you can email me at forourcity@gm

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)

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

crystal crazed (and pretty darn obsessed with rocks, stones, minerals…)

Before there was Pinterest to feed my obsessive online habits, I quenched my creative thirst by endlessly browsing Etsy for whatever project or subject I was enraptured with at the moment. Whether it was:  amethyst geode bookends, Mexican tooled leather bags, antique blue teacups, vintage French children’s’ books, fresh succulent cuttings or watercolor paintings of feathers, I’d favorite dozens of each and salivate over them until I finally bought something or I got distracted. Sigh…brings back some good memories (and many, many hours!!!). 
Raw minerals and crystals are always one of those things I always come back to. I am drawn to the bright, beautiful array of colors and the amazing and intricate shapes. I am continually in awe of the earth’s ability to create the most astounding works of art. After looking at these rocks and minerals dug out from under the ground, I always come to the conclusion that nothing I, or any human, ever creates will be as beautiful as they are. 
Above are some of my favorites I have put together, most of which can be found on etsy. In the top left image, I love how EarthSkyWarrior (a “Neo-Nostalgic boutique specializing in peculiar One-of-a-Kind home decor misfits & oddities based in Brooklyn, NY”) designed these Blue Agate geode bookends with the plant growing out of one side ($221.00). The top right image is a print by  Vancouver-based artist Jeff Hamada, the creator and founder of http:www.booooooom.com. The middle image of the agate geode slice necklaces are by Linsey, a jewelry designer out of Dallas, Texas and can be found for $48.00 a piece at her Esty shop, MesaBlue. The bottom left is by FAR one of the most beautiful Australian Opal Rings that I have ever seen. I have lusted after it for awhile now and will have to be satisfied with oogling it it via pictures. It is from the brilliant jewelry designer of Sasa Jewelry, Sasa Blackoff. Finally, the bottom right are set of four XL Agate Geode slab coasters by SaraReynoldsJewelry also on Etsy and a steal at $45.00. 

Here are some of the drawings I did in my sketchbook.I definitely need a lot of practice, drawing gems, crystals and minerals takes a lot more patience and focus than I am used to!



Here are a few more of my favorites, just because I couldn’t stop!


drusy diamond ring

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drusy ring

Gem and Mineral Grid Collage

geometric print

Boulder Opal

2014 minerals calendar

tattoos: i want them, i need them pt. 3

my forearm tattoo with the Native American symbol for rain clouds (which symbolizes continual growth and renewal) and “kenaz” which stands for inspiration and creativity)

I can always tell when I start to get an itch for another tattoo…last night I was up until 3am looking at pictures of tattoos on the internet.  I am in awe of some of these tattoo artists…especially the one’s who specialize in watercolor tattoos. I think it is hard enough to create a watercolor painting, but these tattoo artists who can make realistic looking watercolor tattoos have my upmost respect.  I don’t know anything about the art of tattooing, except that it looks extremely difficult and you can’t make any mistakes- so I can only imagine how difficult it must be to blend colors and to do shading on skin. I want to give credit to the artists who created these tattoos and tried to find out who did each tattoo…so I listed their names and their websites if possible. but there were a few that I couldn’t put a name to, so if you recognize it and who it belongs to please feel free to let me know!

This is a beautiful watercolor tattoo by Ondrash out of the Czech Republic. 

This is another piece by Ondrash

AND four MORE by Ondrash! 

This one is by a tattoo artist based in Las Vegas, Holly Thomas. She currently works at Voodoo Tattoo studio located behind the Palms Casino.

                              
I love this tattoo…I like the simplicity and detail of this watercolor tattoo by Amanda Wachob. I love the splash of light blue and the black splashes dotting up behind the ear.  I would seriously consider getting a tattoo very similar to this but with a second bright color and only a few bits of black.

                   

Okay, so funny story about this tattoo. I randomly came across this tattoo last night (via http://blogs.discovermagazine.com) and recognized it right away as a inking of a neuron. And, not just any type of neuron, a hippocampal neuron. Those of you who know me or have read any of my other blog posts, might be asking yourselves how I would know something like this, since I am pretty clueless when it comes to all things math and science. Well, my husband is a neuroscientist who works with these exact types of neurons. In fact, I noticed a tracing of a neuron pinned up in his lab one day and commented how that would make an awesome tattoo. So, I  scrolled down to the comment section and the first comment was from Nelson Spruston who said: “Patrick, this is super cool. I think it’s a neuron I reconstructed years ago and published in a 2005 J. Physiology paper (Golding et al.). It’s a beautiful neuron and it looks great as a tattoo.” Who is he? And why does it matter? He happens to be the professor who runs the lab where my husband works. small world! And that’s my story. Yay.

               
I could not for the life of me find out who this tattoo belongs to or where it orginated. but I love it and it makes me want to add more simple lines to my tattoo.


While engaging in my endless online search of tattoos, I came across ALOT of feather and bird tattoos. This one stood out to me because of it’s vibrant colors. I am not sure who the tattoo artist for this feather was but I found it on fyeahtattoos.com

I wish I was cool enough to rock a tattoo like this one. (sigh). This one is by the tattoo artist Guy Le

Do you notice a pattern? I really like tattoos with simple lines. I found this one on http://rodeo.net/tattoologist/.

Another cool idea that incorporates the simple lines but can convey a powerful message. This one also comes from http://rodeo.net/tattoologist/.


goodness. I will never be as cool as this chick. I don’t even have enough confidence to wear shorts in the summer let alone get a huge dream catcher tattoo down the side of my thigh.

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.

Students’ Art Gallery Showcase

The 1st annual Art Gallery Showcase was a success! Haha. At least, I made it through it! Took me forever to put together and hang everything up and within 15 minutes of it starting, students and parents had dismantled my hard work and taken kids’ artwork home. (Which is great!) One student even gave me flowers- (Brought a tear to my eye, I have to admit!) I got some really great feedback from parents and students which is always nice to hear so hopefully I will be getting to do the same thing next year!