Monday, June 27, 2011

Courageously Vulnerable


Bumping through the universe for its untold number of years, white and vulnerable to every substance it might have potentially been marred with throughout its travels.
The tiny-telephone-cord beading runs along the outer surface, the conduit of the most intimate stories and conversations. Miraculously, against all odds, the beauty of its delicate shell-like surface has all managed to remain intact.
No hard traveling case to protect it. It has survived and made its way into the protection of an adoring caretaker who will guide it into the hands of an interested and worthy new owner. Could that be you?


During one of the darker moments of my life, a shaman in Guatemala told me, "You've been given the beautiful and rare gift of a heart that can feel; these are the hearts that can also heal." It takes strength to give voice to our vulnerabilities and needs.
Where there is love, this voice will be heard and responded to with care and sincere interest.
Today, I *WILL* to stand behind my feelings and give voice to this beautiful aspect of being human. I invite you to do the same.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thanks Universe for the Verizon Man (Featuring the "Love-Line"Vivienne Tam skirt)

There are dry spells in life and then there are the deserts. Dessert-less deserts! The arduous, despicable and unrelenting periods of Grey, Gray and Gris!

I*know* there are millions of gorgeous, fledgling NYC hearts relenting to the icy solitude, walking the plank of profile writing and jumping into the unknown seas of internet dating. I remind myself, Winter (yes, with a capital double-V) is not the most congenial time for encountering romantic prospects. With everyone wearing head to toe coats and schlepping our daily commute survival gear the city has the appearance of a campsite turned caravan.
All of us handsome singles buried in down feathers, nylon and earmuffs. I admit, even my friends poke fun at the oh-so-sultry sleeping bag ensemble I refuse to leave home without. On the platform, I am merely a couple of icy eyeballs and two boot tips- the rest, a puffy, water-resistant marshmallow. Sooo attractive in my Michelin Man garb as I hit the subway catwalk. I can count at least 5 snowfalls since a less than lurid stranger outright flirted with me. In my old neighborhood, I could be wearing a mu-mu and turtleneck and still SOMEONE would ask me how many babies I'd like to have. At least that was something to off-set the chopped-liver syndrome barking at my door.

I never thought I'd find any kind of redemption in the flirtations of a phone technician, but I must confess my broken office phone did wonders for my jilted ego this past Tuesday. Post-valentine's darkness layered on to the problematic fax line that had been always a thorn in my side. That annoyance, however, lost it's bite as it yielded the rose called Kevin the Verizon guy, come to prune away all my self-doubt and validation angst (at least momentarily).

As it turned out, he needed to be in my office all day long. Every time he would go out, he would politely let me know that he would be back and ask me entreatingly if there was anything that I needed. "Can I get you somethin' Miss? A hot tea? Somethin' sweet? Some Flow-ahs?(followed by a big grin) Are you shu-ah?" As the day went on, he started to open up about his life telling me how he lived at the Jersey Shore and making all kinds of references to some reality show I'd never heard of. Who is Snookie anyway? He couldn't believe I didn't at least know the shows characters. This, however, didn't seem to diminish his interest in treating me very sweetly during his visit. He seemed to respect the fact that I didn't have a television, like it gave me a badge of survival in his eyes.
He told me it had been a rough year. His father had died and his mother just couldn't stop crying. He had started going to church on Sunday's cause he said he figured if he "straightened out his life here, he might have a chance to see his pops later on in heaven". He had to stop attending night classes so that he could work more to help out the family. It was clear they had all really been affected by the loss of their Patriarch.

I was just finishing a book about grief called "Life after Loss". It's a very important book for everyone because it explains the often confused perception of grief and mourning.Healthy humans don't only experience grief when someone dies. Grief can be heavy when you've moved to a new home, changed or lost your job, lost a pet, been betrayed by a friend, lost a dream, your finances, your security, the list goes on and on. This is a phenomenon we'd all do well to study for in our current economy, there's a lot of these losses going around. There is no set timing for someone to process a loss. We have to respect and support each individuals time to process, find healing and recovery.

I went to retrieve the book from my bag thinking it was meant for me to give this to Kevin, but I realized I had left it on my kitchen table that morning. As he was leaving, I gave him the name of the book and told him I thought it would be helpful for his mother. To this he replied thoughtfully, " I think it'll be good for me too. Thank you Miss. Thanks fir everything. I had a real nice time witchu here today and the things you told me sure helped a lot. Here is my cell number if you have any more problems with your phone line. I can be here from Jersey in less than 2 hours." Thanks Kevin. Take care.
My fax is still broken, but Kevin did leave me with a repaired line of hope and reopened some communication with my heart. Thanks Universe for the Verizon man Kevin whe-evah you ah out deah on da sho-ah.

The "love-line" skirt is hiding just under the down-feather coat!

Purchase the "Love-Line" Vivienne Tam skirt here

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Love It Up Buttercup

In the midst of the most bitter, slippery and foreboding NY winter I have ever experienced, I yearn to reflect on a not so distant time away that I lovingly refer to as Summer.
Remember that? Several months ago when we were flitting about carelessly in single, light layers, exposing our shoulders, elbows, knees and toes to the sunshine? Clinging to the "This too shall pass" mantra, I must believe those steamy, sunshiney, humid and languid days are just around the bend. ( I was a summer baby, ok? Maybe this is why I love Bikram yoga?)

In preparation for much warmer, festive times I offer you the Buttercup Hostess Ensemble. A beautiful vintage sky blue linen mini, hand tailored in thailand in the 60's. Featuring a scalloped front lapel, trimmed with buttercup yellow and blue flowers. This ensemble comes complete with the wonderfully paired buttercup post earrings with rhinestone centers, perfect to add a sophisticated spoonful of glitz to your hostess wit da mostess savoir-faire. (As exemplified here by our incredible model and professional event planner and photographer Miss Alexis Percival.) You can learn more about the goings-on of Alexis and Jonathan, her charming and talented sommelier/author partner on their websites here.

Dress: Fine Linen, lined, Size 2/4

Excellent condition.

Buttercup/Rhinestone Earrings included!

Buy Buttercup Hostess Ensemble here

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Love is the Answer" Dress

Just in time for Valentines, another for the Todd Rundgren loving crowd. In this dress you could be the long tall woman in a "love" dress. You could also really pull off an awesome Olive Oil paired up with a suitable Popeye ;)

Late 60's, early 70's acrylic knit. Has a nice stretch and is not tiny. I'd say a M/L.Great condition, only some small barely noticeable spots toward the bottom.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Day in the Life of Violet (Featuring the Yellow Submarine Frock)

Three steps into the crosswalk I gazed up into the super-human-sized eyes of four familiar faces. I did a timeless Abbey road suspension as a love-beam lasered out my sternum headed straight out for them.

Once upon a time they dwelt in the padded bulbous pods I used to crown myself "Ruler of the Record Player". A coiled umbilical cord enabled musical nutrients to flow between the stereo and my brain. Here I sat contentedly for hours nestled amidst the receiver and an old lurching piano. As reigning Queen, I was permitted to fly my bright yellow bean bag into their sound-land where I desperately hoped to stay permanently, perhaps quietly vanishishing into the horizon of heartbreaking harmonies.

White magic strings piped in the voice of a newly downloaded son (as in DNA-see above) while the tangerine and sunshine 45's flashed their insights.

The Sergeant Pepper purity of hard days and hard nights.

And yes, it was true that she did have me all those years ago and I had never had her, not even now-but now, that's yesterday and today I will let it be.

Walk light changes.
Pow! Hind-sight-red-flag. "Yeah, I never understood what the big deal was about the Beatles. I never liked them" he had said.
Too high on hope to acknowledge this break in the melody of treehouse-garden-dog-dream then, but now these radio waves flood over me. I'm awash in the broadcast but apparently, thankfully, I've managed to cross the street relatively unscathed.
Just a day in the life...

Purchase the Yellow Submarine Frock here:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Growth, Love & Gratitude

Violet's Voice

In the spirit of the season, I'd like to use this blog entry to mark the passing of an extremely intense year and give thanks for some wonderful, creative people that have been brought into my life.
Last year at this time, I was living in Guatemala adjusting to a new culture, family, living and working situation, language etc. I had moved with promised support of a partnership and was truly excited about my new life with this person. I'll spare you the details, but after a few months my "partner" jumped ship and I found myself in a tumultuous sea of unknowns, heartbreak, statistical and financial trauma, disbelief and devastation. My friends now refer to this period as the aftermath of "Hurricane ______(insert what's-his-face's name here)." I believe the exact language was "Hearts are broken, promises are broken, so what? Are you going to be the victim of change? or the author of change?" Wait, What?!!! Apparently, I was suppose to get over it and move on. Immediately. That's normal. Right? I was too confused, hurt and scared to be angry, and I desperately tried to proceed in an enlightened, non-violent and accepting way.

Um...So how do you do that exactly?
Well friends, that's an ongoing tale to be explored, perhaps, in a different blog entry- but I digress.
Today, I want to talk about love and gratitude. There are so many people who have been stalwart in helping me reassemble my self out of the ashes of the aforementioned experience and I am grateful for all of them.

If I had never quit my job, moved to Guatemala, gotten my heart broken, my wallet stolen (and quite possibly become temporarily insane), I would have never ended up living in paradise, (a.k.a. Finca los Nietos) This is where the universe set me down and said "Ohhhhkay. You just sit right here for a bit and be quiet." The finca is where I began to be nourished back to "normal". This much needed sustenance came, not only from the ridiculously lush landscape (there's a view of volcano Agua from the front porch) but also from the amazing and huge-hearted family who owns the place. A group of equally extraordinary individuals, starting with the Ma and Pa of the clan; Ma (Christina) sculptress, cement carver, earth-worker, bestower of wisdom, installation artist and midwife! Pa (Raul), singer, percussionist and all around musician, expert carpenter, finessed coffee roaster, and followed in adoration by children all over San Lorenzo ( for good reason- children just know). Their daughter Grace, talented dancer, artist, witty, spirited, brave beauty and new mother. Grace gave birth to sweet little Matilda Rose two days after I arrived at the farm. She was so strong and full of composure, I was completely amazed. Their eldest daughter Ana (a.k.a. Nena Consuelo - designer extraordinaire) was described to me by the family as being a dose of sunshine. I happily discovered this to be true for myself when she paid a visit from Maine to meet her new niece. After being gifted a few of her jewelry pieces out on the farm, I became totally hooked. She has a brilliant eye for pungent color combinations, a unique sensibility for mesmerizing textures and her pieces offer a trademark blend of sophistication with subversive notes of a sweet flirtatiousness and wacky rebellion.
Ana's husband Rudy, who is super kind, laid-back and handsome also made the trip out to San Lorenzo from Maine. He and Ana live and work as foster parents for challenged teenagers with disabilities. They both had a lot of amazing and inspiring stories from this experience. It was real honor to spend time around them both.

I was recently privileged to reconnect with the family (this time in Maine!) which was a really wonderful experience. I finally met the famed brother Rafi, who is also a wonderful musician like his pops Raul. He plays the bass with a really rockin' band called Sly Chi, but I hear tale that he also plays the Tuba! I got the feeling he can pretty much play anything he sets his mind to. Especially since he took apart a log cabin and put it all back together somewhere else- piece by piece! I also got to meet Bri, who's married to Rafi. She was so welcoming, kind and funny. She and Rafi are parents to the lovely pink-cheeked Aja who does a mean Tina Turner impression (even though she's just over a year old).

Imagine... the halloween costumes; Dia de los Muertos lovers, not one- but TWO! blue latex Smurfs, Lady GooGoo and her paparazzi entourage, add one Betty Boop, wine of Rhubarb and tryptophan of turkey flowing through our veins, and there you have the makings of the warm and wacky Thanks-Ween weekend we had. Surfing on the halo of this good hearted gathering, I was even able to make it through airport security with a 3ft mat cutter! (you should have seen the looks on faces as we were boarding the plane- not the best way to make friends in the airport). The mat cutter was one thing, even when they found the BLADE that we thought we removed (oops) when they found the rhubarb wine, wild blueberry jam & maple syrup I had forgotten about cramming in my carry on (yep. oops again.) I heard one of the gathering group of very disapproving guards mutter as he shook his head, "SOME-body missed the memo."

Upon my return to NYC, mat cutter in hand, I switched on the radio and what I heard completely stopped me in my tracks. I can't tell you who was speaking, or exactly what they said BUT, the gist was that sometimes we are unable to move out of suffering untilwe're able to receive and confirm a blessing that has come from the circumstances of the suffering. I was immediately struck that this statement embodied my joy of knowing this family. I am so grateful for the colorful collective of individuals I call my family and all the circumstances (sometimes painful ones) that have brought us all together.

Please let the people in your world know how much you celebrate them whenever you have the chance.

Find Nena Consuelo's Jewelry & Gifts here:

Find Rafi's band here:

Find Finca los Nietos and listen
to Raul's music here:

See images of Christina's work posted here.

Painting by Grace

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Road to Utopia Blouse


Violet's Voice

"Love Is the Answer" is a song written by singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren for his band Utopia. It was the final track on their 1977 album "Oops! Wrong Planet." This song is one of my all time favorites. It's over-the-top, has a church choir build up as a bridge and who can resist a group of men wearing white new-wave jumpsuits?! It seems the perfect sound track for the utopian imagery of this blouse and so I'm going to borrow the lyrics and pay homage to Mr. Rundgren and his fantastic message and style.
Please check out this 1980 performance of the song here:

Name your price
And take me to paradise
I can't stay here any more
And I've looked high and low
I've been from shore to shore to shore
If there's a short cut I'd have found it
But there's no easy way around it

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why
Someday we all must die
We're all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard
It's such a lonely world
People turn their heads and walk on by
Tell me, is it worth just another try?

Tell me, are we alive, or just a dying planet?
What are the chances?
Ask the man in your heart for the answers

And when you feel afraid, love one another
When you've lost your way, love one another
When you're all alone, love one another
When you're far from home, love one another
When you're down and out, love one another
All your hope's run out, love one another
When you need a friend, love one another
When you're near the end, love one another
We got to love one another

Light of the world, you got to shine
Love will be a means, yeah, yeah
Shine on us all
Know that love can save the day
Just give it one more chance
Lord you just can't let it stop Lord
Love is the answer
Got to be free to let love into your life
Let it shine