black every friday: get it poppin

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I don’t remember how or when I discovered JXL, but, in my opinion, the brand is just so unique and fun! There is a fresh youthfulness about it-like it actually makes me smile just by the sight. JXL’s motto is “make you ears pop” [in a good way] and that’s exactly what their ear charms do.

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Supercute right?! And inexpensive. I adore their original “pixelated”designs and just added a pair to my arsenal. Don’t hate 😛


Have you ever gone so deep in someone’s timeline that you’re in a completely different realm? I mean you go from doing a little light “investigating” to creepily prowling on the person’s cousin’s hairdresser’s daughter’s page?.. yea. It’s kinda freaky, but that is how I stumbled upon Diem B Jewelry. [Won’t he do it?!??!]

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Aside from the aforementioned JXL, Beads Byaree, Rachel Stewart and Peace Images, Diem B has to be one of my favorite wearable art brands created by beautiful, gifted sisters! If you’re into unique stuff, looking cool and stylish bursts of color, get them in yo life!

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support Black women, shop small and buy local

{all photo cred: JXL + Diem B}

week 28 \\ 2015: meet the browns

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Last year, in order to get over my long anti-artmaking funk, I pledged to create something daily for 100 days in a row. It started out as a chore. I was uninspired. Annoyed. Frustrated. Feeling washed up + inadequate and wanted to throw all my sketches away.. But by the end, I was doubling, tripling, sometimes even quadrupling my required quota. And I must tell you, that one saying about creativity never running out is true. I started drawing and I wanted to draw more. I was inspired by the elements, fabrics, buildings- everything. I was back.

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“milk shake” hoops inspired by Beads Byaree

And now, as an artist coming into her own, I really strive to inspire, if nothing else. I don’t yet consider my work deep or moving, but it’s from the heart and it reflects who I am and what I want to see. My work will be here long after I’m not.  And I strongly feel that we need to create and promote our own images, because, clearly the media is doing a shitty job at it. So I’m doing my part.

I launched ab-originality to showcase my artwork which promotes the undeniable natural beauty, resilience, style, diversity and strength of the Black woman. My second collection, mid-summer, is due out next month. And as I brainstormed and began creating it, I thought dang! This shoulda been my debut! But, tis life. . I’m growing. I’m prouder. I’m getting closer to my art, if that makes sense. And I love that feeling.

Enjoy the “sneak peek”at some works in progress. And I’m only sharing cuz I know y’all are lazy and haven’t peeped the actual site yet. Please let me know what you think!

solitudinem-inspired ear art

solitudinem-inspired ear art

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earrings inspired by Beads Byaree’s “like the water” hoops

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“frida” choker inspiration

The feature photo is inspired by Queen Mama Badoula herself. And of course I’m ever-inspired by jewelry brands that I’m a true fan of, so please check them out, too, if you haven’t already.

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[all images ©ab-originality]

Just Kickin It: Fall/Winter Edition

Soo all these calendars and websites and newscasters say that today is the first day of autumn? I call bull$#!+ because it’s damn near 100 degrees today. But it does have me thinking about what new kicks I want to rock once these temps drop…

I have plenty of open and closed toe flats, signature boots and cozy booties, but I’m trying to switch it up this year by incorporating more sneakers. Believe it or not, sneakers were almost all I used to wear-from Nike to Guess to Fila-you name it, I owned it [or at least wanted to]. Somewhere gray between adolescence and early adulthood, I stopped rocking them and got really really really girly. But now I feel the need to bring em back into my wardrobe for three main reasons:

Full-Coverage Comfort. [I will be doing a lot more walking and biking this year.]

Style. [Like..duh.]

-And, most importantly, something different.

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Here’s my itty bitty wish list:

Nostalgic cuties.

Classic comfort.

Cool errand Runnings.

I believe one’s wardrobe [including accessories and kicks] should constantly evolve to match your current style and lifestyle needs. Plus you should love to put on every article in your closet. So my little tweak is necessary to match my cold season plans.

……Orrr maybe that’s just my excuse for shopping?

 

 

 

 

Why I Love…

My latest obsession is not a trend or a wardrobe staple. It’s headphones.

Urbanears to be specific.

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I wanted something different, something very me, you know? Headphones that spoke Kelley, screamed style and fun and modern and fresh!

So I began my headphones hunt. I’d found Urbanears earlier in the year and they looked to be the answer. Around Black Friday, I happened by Urbanears’ site and, to my delight, they had a sale Cyber Monday! Thank the heavens! Initially apprehensive to shop for a decent pair of phones online from a Sweden-based brand that I had never listened through or heard a personal review about, I took the leap. I shopped for the best style for DJing and the best deal. Then I was sure it was meant to me when I spotted the Zinken model[shown above] in my runner up favorite color[after gray, of course]: teal. I happily checked out and waited…

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And waited …

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And waited. ..

I knew it’d be awhile until my head speakers arrived, but it took almost two months. Thank goodness they were just for me and not a gift! But they were so worth the wait! They block out so much background noise. They’re lightweight and comfortable and do what headphones do. Plus the color is awesome, the band adjusts to my ever-growing fro, and they just look too cool! The total package. I fell in love immediately. But as my love affair continued and got real deep, I received an extremely thoughtful surprise from Urbanears: a free pair of their latest Humlan model headphones! It’s like they knew I had bitched about the long journey my first phones took to arrive, so they sent the perfect smaller pair in a creamy dreamy peach[shown below]. Same great sound quality and aesthetically pleasing design, compatible with my tragus piercing- plus the fabric headband and ear cushions can be removed and washed. Such a cool feature. And the free part definitely helped. They’re my new travel buddies, too 🙂

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Long story short, Urbanears has a new lifelong customer with me! From a real person giving an honest review, try them out if you’re looking for a Beats alternative, want to save money on quality or just add some dope headphones to your collection. You’ll fall in love!

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Kiss My Aztec

The Aztecs are the indigenous people of Mexico. Aztec is also a city in New Mexico and a sports team, but I, being a fashion nerd, know aztec best as an awesome fashion statement with cool prints featuring triangles, stripes and diamonds. I just can’t get enough of it! Here are a few things that I find super cute and inspiring [some added to my to buy/try list]:

Bold and stately on its own, pair a full printed dress like this with simple, neutral accessories for balance.

Often bright and graphic[two of my favorite things], aztec patterns, in my opinion, are like jeans or polka dots or plaid- Timeless. Timeless is a great reason to shop and keep aztec style pieces in your wardrobe. Plus it’s fun and transcends the seasons.

And if you’re feeling a little ambitious, try these:

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Your Prints Will Come

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Peter Pilotto, Pilotto, Pilotto…where do I know that name?! When have  seen his work? Oh yea! Fashion gladiator, Olivi-ahem, Kerry Washington wore a funky frock by him while promoting Django Unchained:

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Some called it strange, but I loved it! So y’all know I was pumped to hear that this same designer linked up with Target to sell to the much smaller budgets of the masses. Along with dresses, pants, and swimwear, there will also be shoes, sunglasses and bags up for grabs. He scaled down quite a bit [for mass appeal, I’m sure], but I still like it.

A lot.

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His Target collection includes casual pieces that can easily be dressed up or down..

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..and items that pair wonderfully together but work apart just as well.

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I love Pilotto’s aesthetic of vivid prints and juxtaposing in his fearless and beautiful garments. Although he’s a little outside the box, his collection is extremely wearable with simple silhouettes that really speak to all women with an array of styles- ranging from resort wear to business casual. It’s a breath of fresh air and a little bright reminder that spring is on its way.

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Will you be shopping Pilotto? His collection is available for purchase at Target nationwide this Sunday, February 09, and I have a feeling the really cool stuff won’t last long.

Warm It Up, Chris

The weather has been playing with my emotions, giving me mid-spring warmth, mild winter cool and official cold weather blues all within a few weeks. I can’t take it. So what’s a better pick-me-up than looking at beautiful clothing? It for sure warms my heart.

My spotlight is on Duro Olowu again, who we all know is the man! He specializes in womenswear and jewelry, making it special with colorful prints and vibrant colors. Let’s see what he has in store for this spring:

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Once again, Mr. Olowu keeps the silhouettes simple, letting the bright colors and prints take center stage. This collection screams sophisticated, airy, dramatic resort wear. It makes me wanna take a nice long vacation, or at least be gone until the warmth returns for good. Love it! love him!

Stay warm, friends. Maybe get some cocoa and power walk through the mall.

Until next time.. xo