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]

Small Business Saturday: Earbuds

With my new, shorter-than-ever haircut, I’m pretty much obliged to rock huge earrings. Plus my recent jewelry purge made me realize that I had a lot of boring pairs! Some too small, others a lil dated, and a few made me question why I ever spent any money on them.

So, continuing on my crusade to buy small and buy Black [and local when I can], I just wanted to share some of my latest and greatest finds.I don’t know how, where, when or how I discovered Peace Images, but it’s an amazing brand. Very earthly, beautiful designs-wearable art from the heart. Soon as I get my money right, I’m buying up the entire site!!

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Rachel Stewart‘s page was suggested to me when I had Facebook and BOOM-I was instantly enamored. You know it’s real when you can’t decide what you want to buy cuz you want it allllll! Funky, chunky, colorful and fresh, she really has a signature aesthetic. I absolutely LOVE her stuff! [P.S. there’s a sale going thru February 5th!]

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I was introduced to Beads by Aree by a friend on the gram.. but it’s SO much more than beads! A quick scan thru her feed and I was like ok, this is something very cool and special. Majestic and soulful and happy are a few words that I feel describe these amazing, imaginative beauties.

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My trusty Etsy always always comes thru! A search on the site results Alii Fuerza and her lovely collection of badass, innovative jewelry. Featuring Malcolm X, 2Pac, and Che Guevara, Alii’s gems make such a statement without you having to say a word. [Perfectly fitting for Black History Month, no?]fts

Again, I was hunting for a certain something when I came upon Green Tree Jewelry on Etsy.They specialize in eco-friendly, wooden laser cut earrings. Suuuper lightweight and charming, they have everything you can think of to sport on your ears-from animals and plants to cityscapes and everything in between.

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Even if you’re not all gungho on buying Black or small or local, you have to admit that these unique brands are kind of dope, right! Regardless, I’m excited that they exist and that I can share them with you.

xo

How to Wear White to a Wedding

[disclaimer: this post speaks to wedding guests, of course, not brides or maids]

I figured since wedding season is in full swing aaaaand I’ll be attending two ceremonies this summer, I can share with you ladies how to dress in white for the occasion without upstaging the bride.

As most of you know by now, I personally adore white- wearing it, sleeping on it, looking at it. It is just one of those neutrals that [almost] always looks fresh and chic, and who wouldn’t want to look fresh and chic at a wedding?! [There might be single men in attendance!]  Plus you’ll want to look your most awesome in all those pictures you’ll be in.

Firstly, don’t wear a solid white dress.

Or cream. Or barely gray. Or eggshell. Or off-white.

Unless it’s one of those weddings where you’re asked to wear a certain color or palette, just say no to the white dresses and gowns. You’ll stand out.. in a bad way. I know it seems obvious, but I’ve seen it happen. Don’t be that girl!

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Break it up.

Color blocking is always fun and always in style, so if you have found your must-wear white skirt or blouse, rock it with a nice belt and a solid companion. Or make sure your color blocked dress is less than 50% solid white.

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Keep it short[s].

I love love love love white summer shorts! I’d go for a linen or chambray, comfortable and casual yet mature. I wouldn’t mind seeing a pair with a white blouse at a daytime wedding, especially if it’s outdoors. A onesie also works.

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Suit yourself.

I love short sets too, in suit form or however-they’re just so grown up and versatile! If weather permits, try a white three piece. This is also a great way to incorporate some of that color blocking I mentioned or have some fun with a print.

Just say no.

Lastly, I would avoid white “wedding dress fabrics” like taffeta, satin and organza. Stay away from intricate beading and lots of tiers or ruffles or lace. And tutu styles. Super cute, but not here, not in white. No ma’am. There are too many other options for you to be looking all bridal as a guest.

 

I love love this getup ^^^ btw. But don’t do it! Save it for date night!

I hope I’ve been helpful!

[P.S. I know it’s been over a month, graysueders, and I’m sorry. I vowed to be more consistent but sometimes life just happens, you’re not inspired, you start something then it ends up sounding cornier that corn chowder or you just don’t make the time. My problem is all three of those. But hey, I’m back! For now..]

Love y’all! Take it easy! xo

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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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

street chic

DOOTD: tough, sexy lady

street chic

Miss Selfridge circle skirt
missselfridge.com

Kohl shoes
zalando.co.uk

Anne Klein black watch
$155 – debenhams.com

Pink nail polish
myer.com.au