Patched/Color Contrast Denim Jeans (and my new favorite pair of jeans)


A few months ago, a woman came into my work work wearing these jeans: gap-indigo-patched-always-skinny-jeans-product-1-15961878-816280953_large_flex

and fell hard for them. (yes, it’s sad, I know). Not since my high school days when I was still able to talk my dad into buying me “cool kid” Diesel jeans (complete with a ridiculous price tag) have I wanted a pair of jeans so badly. Sadly, the jeans, made by Gap were sold out online and in all the stores in my area. Even Ebay didn’t have them.

Disheartened, but not willing to give up,  I thought, “No problem, I will make me those jeans! How hard can it be?” (and because it always turns out well when I ask myself that!)  I am nothing, if not, naive, idealistic and stubborn. But, as it turns out, it was pretty hard.   After several hours consisting of trips to Goodwill and Michaels, cutting, sowing and ironing on the patches, my masterpiece was complete (and looking nothing like the above picture)….

I  couldn’t even get the jeans on past my knees. Yeah…they were waaaay to small. As usual, I got caught up in my excitement and  didn’t think to TRY THE JEANS ON to make sure they fit beforehand. Needless to say, after that, I gave up on the idea for a while. Figuring it just wasn’t meant to be.

Until the other day while scrolling through Nordstrom online, when I came across these:

img-thing
Paige Denim ‘Cara’ Paneled Ultra Skinny Jeans ( $135.00.) Although, sold out now on Nordstroms.com, they are available for sale at Anthropolgie.com as well as Saks 5th Ave

BUT, as much as I love buying clothes, I haven’t spent more than $40.00 – $50.00, on any one clothing item for myself in over 10 years and the $135.00 was way out of my price range. I just can’t afford to do it. But, I had some money saved up and in a moment of haste and overcome with “denim lust” (I think the most accurate word for how I felt towards these jeans is “coveted”), I closed my eyes and bought them. I felt sick to my stomach for days after buying them, and ]When they came in the mail, I didn’t open the package for a few days because I was embarrassed of my overspending.

When I finally did try them on, I was absolutely hooked. I fell in love with them. I think I had forgotten what it was like to have a high quality pair of jeans that fit well and feel good. I am not as in shape as I used to be, and my self-confidence is usually always lacking. But the fit, the look, the feel, everything about these jeans felt worth every penny. The cheap jeans I usually always buy, they do the job, but they stretch out easily, or sag in weird parts, or tear, or break quickly. Even the ones that last always look a little “off.” Not these jeans. They fit so well,in all the right places and were so comfortable that I was walking around feeling like a million bucks.

I love everything about these jeans- in the end, the contrasting colors of the jeans that I fell in love with in the first place, were just an added plus.

It’s been years since I have bought myself a clothing item of this price (besides boots or a bag). I was officially out of the game when it came to name brand denim and I had never heard of Paige Denim before but I am definitely sold on this brand and these jeans. And I know this sounds like one big advertisement, but I don’t get a penny to promote any brand on my blog. So, If you have the money to spare, I highly suggest buying yourself a pair of quality jeans- because they will last you for forever, will go with everything, feel great, and look damn good!

I have put together a board of some of my favorite patched/color blocked jeans this season:

patchedcolorblockjeans

Top left: Gap 1969 Patch & Repair Boyfriend Jeans ($84.95), top middle: Current/Elliot Patchwork Fling Jeans ($238.00), top right: Morgan Slim Fit Contrasting Knee Patch Jeans from House of Fraser ($90.00). Bottom left: Paige Denim Skinny “Olga” ankle Colorblock Jeans ($199.00), bottom middle: Joes’ Two-Toned Jeans ($199.00) and bottom right: Urban Renewal Two-Toned Jeans ($59.00)

 

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!

Strappy Heels and Jeans

blue heels and jeans

 

Sorry for the overload of personal style blog posts lately, but I am having so much fun!

With Autumn fast approaching, my mind has started to switch gears and I’ve started getting excited already about fall/winter styles. I think Autumn is my favorite “Style” season. I love layering scarfs, tights, boots, jackets..I feel like there is so much you can do and not have to worry about sweaty armpit stains like in the summertime.  I have loved the idea of pointy toe heels with jeans since I found a picture on Pinterest of someone in boyfriend style jeans and bright  blue suede ankle pumps from JCrew.

elsiejcrewpump

Unfortunately, I couldn’t justify spending the money on the “Real deal” heels from JCrew but I found some similar to what I wanted on Ebay. I paired them with light grey washed jeans from forever 21 and I’ve been looking for excuses to wear the combo ever since!

Besides the brightly colored suede pumps with jeans, I also love the look of ankle strap pointed toe heels with jeans…like these (some of my favorites I compiled):

ankle strap, d'orsay heels

ankle strap, d’orsay heels

Top left: Siren Heels from Anthropologie.com, $143.20, top right: Kristin Cavallari Chinese Laundry Caye pumps available at Nordstroms.com, $149.90, middle: Xenia pointy toe heels also available at Nordstroms.com, $79.95, bottom left: Joe’s Laney Pumps available at Revolve Clothing, $145.00, and bottom right: Jeffrey Campbell Solitaire Heel, available exclusively from Free People, $148.00.

As usual, all my favorites are above my budget, but I did find some similar that I love from DV by Dolce Vita, for $89.95. They are a little higher than I am used to, but well worth the struggle and pain!

shopping

 

I paired them with Super Stretch Legging Jeans from Gap.com and a white cutout floral 3/4 length top I got from Sheinside.com.

jeans and heels

I also tried the heels with bright orange capri skinny leg trousers from J.Crew and my favorite new slouchy, extra large, comfy sweater from Target

 

 

red pants and heels

Thanks again for stopping by, if you have any questions, comments, ideas, suggestions, ect…feel free to Email me at: forourcity@gmail.com

 

I hope everyone enjoys their final, beautiful days of summer.

Image

To Kimono, or not to kimono?

That is the question…

kimonooutfit

 

MEblackkimono

 

orangekimono

 

mekimonoblack1

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

My First "Personal Style" Blog Post Attempt: Cropped Collared Shirts

I have been feeling super inspired lately by style blogs. (Courtesy of the themomedit.com )
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And on a personal note, it’s a relief for me to feel those much-missed stirrings of inspiration and avidity for life…it’s been a LONG time coming but I am starting to think this is the  year that I get my groove back. (I know…it’s cheesy but feels true to me). 
So, this is my first attempt at trying out a “personal style” blog post, it was only recently that I learned about the world of personal style blogging (I know I’m behind the times). I don’t know if my style is any good, I used to not care at all and just wore what I wanted and kind of still do – but also I am trying to be more aware of my body type and my age- as much as it kills me,  I am not a teenager anymore, or even in my 20’s. (WAAAAAAH). But still I can’t help but be drawn to bright colors, patterns, form fitting clothing items. But, on my budget let’s just say, I am VERY limited on options. (It’s embarrassing where I shop, and I’m not sure I’m ready yet to embarrass myself anymore than I already am in this post). 
My Theme: Collared Crop Tops & Skirts
(ps I have no idea how to pose..it’s way harder than I thought)
Why? Because I love this blue shirt (and a coral version too), and try to incorporate it into my every day outfit. Plus it’s been super hot lately. 
           i
This was the first outfit I liked, although I didn’t feel 100% comfortable in it, the skirt was too tight and short, so I felt like I had to constantly pull it down and adjust over the potbelly. lol. 

 Second Outfit
This is the second outfit, and the one I chose to wear to a wonderful friend’s bridal shower. This was the best picture because I was running behind on time before the shower and didn’t get a good full length mirror glance at the final product and this skirt is PRETTY tight and my ba-dunk-a-dunk was kind of out of control. (Sorry Aly and Aly’s mom, grandma, ext).

oh and the shoes are my favorite heels of this summer…they are Dolce Vita brand and I got them at Nordstrom Rack.  (Thanks dad for giving me the gift card!)

So, thank you guys for reading…what do you think? I would love to hear any comments, suggestions, advice, tips, your personal preferences…HIT ME WITH IT!).

Happy Summer Hazey days!

Jess

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!

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

r

drusy ring

Gem and Mineral Grid Collage

geometric print

Boulder Opal

2014 minerals calendar

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.


i swear we were infinite.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a huge book nerd. I think partly because I’ve always had trouble sleeping, even as a kid, and without a T.V. in my bedroom, I lost myself in books. Also, I have an extremely short attention span and I liked that I could read a few pages, put it down when I got distracted and pick it right back up. The Boxcar Children, The Babysitters’ Club, Little House on the Prairie…I read through all of them eventually.
 As I have gotten older books have continued to play an important role in my life. I’ve always had trouble “switching off” and “winding down” at the end of the day. I just can’t turn my brain off, thinking about everything I need to do, should have done, SHOULDN’T have done…ect. and reading before bed has been the most effective way for me to de-stress.
I’ll admit it, in college, I was a huge book snob. I felt that anything I read had to be a classic, a prize winner and challenging.  While I read some of my favorite books during this time including: The Brothers Karamazov by Dosteovesky, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez and Anna Karenina by Tolstoy…

I was halfway through Swann’s Way by Proust (and had almost no clue what was happening in the book) that I started to realize that I no longer was enjoying reading!

So, it was at this point that I decided..gosh darnit! I was going to read whatever I wanted and never looked back! Anyways, that was bit of a rant but there is a reason behind it I swear…about 6 months ago I picked up a book entitled Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I was heading to NYC for a quick getaway and wanted a book that I could carry in my bag….I admit I picked it up because it was a thin book and I liked the bright cover (okay, not the best reasons for picking a book but sadly I pick books based on their covers more often than I should). Needless to say, I started reading it on the plane and couldn’t put it down. I finished it that night in the hotel. I don’t like trying to summarize or explain what it’s about because I always do a lousy job and if I tried then you might not want to read it. So, I will refrain, except to say “YOU SHOULD READ IT NOW!”


The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Turtleback Scho Edition) by Chbosky, (Google Affiliate Ad)

For Christmas, I bought 6 copies of Perks of Being a Wallflower and gave it out to close friends and families. Some of these recipients might be classified still as “book snobs” (Sorry guys if you’re reading this but it’s true). I asked one friend if he had started reading it and he said he tried but writing style was too simple and thus, he said, he didn’t think the author was a very good writer. The book is written from the perspective of a freshman in high school named Charlie and he has a unique and fresh perspective on the world around him that is profoundly simple. Please, do yourself (And me) a favor and read this book. And then you can email me and we can talk about how awesome it was.

Anyways, it didn’t take me long to find that I wasn’t the only one who was so moved by the book. I find lots of lovely body art and artwork inspired by the book and I am including them here:

                                       http://literarytattoos.livejournal.com/990589.html

http://thisisrexxie23.tumblr.com/

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.