Posts Tagged Saris

A most blessed life…

21 February 2011

!!!!WARNING…  SUPER LONG POST, LONG WINDED RAMBLINGS, LOTS OF PICTURES!!!!

Sometimes I am amazed at my blessings…  To the point where it almost makes me nervous.  Is it really true, is this my life, is it a dream that I will wake up from?  When I got up this morning this was what greeted my eyes…

It has rained quite a bit in the last few days and it was rather cold last night…  so…  if only for a brief time…  snow!

My husband and I are very lucky to live on a ranch, Dos Pueblos Ranch. The top two pictures are the view looking to the north from our yard over the Avocado orchard.

This is the view looking across the street towards the west…

That is the ocean in the distance.  As much as I love England and the Smokey Mountains and would love to live in Devon or Ashville, this is pretty wonderful!  It is quiet and the neighbors are great people who obviously love rural areas too. Our foreman often rides his horse up the street on his way to his cows.  There are cats and dogs everywhere, I love it!

Our home is beautiful, my Cat Man honey and I share it with lots of cats (for full story click here).  I also have tons of beautiful things.  Being almost 50, having lots of various lives, lots of traveling and hobbies and NEVER getting rid of anything means I have loads of the most wonderful things.  I have posted pics of our home and a few of my workspace (in mid event mode) before but not yet of my office.  There are bits from my whole life in here, the parts that I love that are an inspiration to me.  It is here that I write my bids for brides, paint, draw, pay bills, practice my guitar (I have just started learning!!!  Yea!!!), read, think, dream.

From here on you can click on the pictures for a larger size.

In the above picture on top of my Indian armoire and to the right is one of the sets of wings from the faerie wedding I had so much fun doing.  I have these wings all over, I just love them so much…

This is the view from my desk…

It makes paying the bills much easier!

I was going to say these are my secretaries but really they are my bosses…  That’s Flat Top on the printer and Tiger in front with his tail on the book “A Bit Of Velvet and a Dash of Lace” by Magnolia Pearl’s Robin Brown…  possibly one of my most favorite people on the planet!  To see her lovely web and blog click here.

“Munchkin”. She is my most special companion and muse.  For more about the precious kitties we look after click here.

Below, this is my art desk, where I play…

The wings I made for the Practical Magic Blog Party.  For the story click here.

My toys…

I love the colors in Tiffany style lamps.  They glow like jewels!

Some of the results of my playing…  faeries…  lately always faeries…

A few (surprise!) non-faerie results…

The painting of the blue door is one I did from a photo in a wonderful book on India.

It sits with several of my inspirational mementos.  That is a vintage picture from India on the top left, isn’t it cool?

Below on the right is a collage I made.   For the story that is part of it see an earlier blog (here). Of course I have lots of Tolkien books.  The father of the modern Faerie Tale I think.  I wish he could have lived forever so he could keep writing wonderful stories.  But only if his lovely wife could have too.  I understand they were madly in love…  sigh!

The “taro readings” sign (above hanging on the left) is  from a Moroccan themed 40th birthday party I did.  Like I said I do not throw anything away, especially when it is cool.

Of course I have lots of lovely book-friends I dream with in my office.

That is Nipper at the bottom getting ready to jump on the computer

(what is it with cats and computers, they just have to be on them!).

I love to spend an afternoon loosing myself in great stories…  cup of tea, incense…  bliss!

Of course there is always a cat tucked in here and there…

By the way all the books on the shelves I can highly recommend.  Especially the stories by Sarah Addison Allen. They are most magical and precious, in the same vein as Practical Magic only more sweet and innocent.

More friends…

Below, vintage faerie tale books from Europe.  On top of the stack is a Navajo hogan (their style of house) jewelry box with my tiara from when I was 5 on top.  That is a picture of my mom on the left (the black and white photo, not the painting…lol!).  Sometimes I miss her so, so much.  I think she would have gotten a kick out of my life.  I inherited my creativity form her.

Its weird… she has been gone so long (35+ years) that it feels like she is a figment of my imagination.  In some ways she is like a secret invisible friend I carry around with me, like you used to do when you were kids.

OK, this is funny…  my mom hated having her picture taken, absolutely loathed it!  Every other picture I have loaded so far as been fine.  The one of my mom I had to try 3 times before it would align properly.  I told mom to cut it out, the picture was beautiful and I would put it on the blog no matter what even if it was upside down so she might as well let me do it properly…LOL!

Here is one of my beautiful Indian cabinets that hides the ugly paper work, files and such.  All through out my office I display my most precious belongings.  On top of the cabinet is my collection of Native American pots.  I gathered these during the time in my life when I had a Native American art store.  This was somewhere around 15 years ago!  Boy does time fly!  Also…  surprise, surprise, faerie wings on the wall.  Those were Bathilda Buzzwings, the reporter for the Faerie Wedding I did.

Up close of the beautiful pots…

Just in case you are curious…  from left to right there is a Story Teller from the Cochiti Pueblo, a Navajo pot (brown), inside is a Zia Pueblo piece with an Acoma pot inside.  Behind those are a Chumash basket with a vintage tourist kachina on top.  Next is a San Ildefonzo black pot (not by Maria unfortunately) and a vintage tourist kachina.  Behind these in the center is an antique tea pot from India.  Then there is a Hopi (my favorite) Nampeo family pot with another Hopi pot inside.  Next are two more Hopi pots with a plate from the Zia Pueblo behind it.  Behind the plate is a Santo Domingo pot with a Hopi pot inside and on top an old Pueblo pot of unknown origin.  Behind that is a Navajo wedding basket (whew! ).

On the doors are a collection of Native American and Tuareg fringed bags…  That’s a flint bag on the left and a paint bag on the right which has powdered ocher inside.  They are in the Sioux tradition but made by a local Chumash man.

The green bag is Tuareg and the white buffalo bag is from Taos pueblo.

Another one of my favorite pieces is a traditional wedding dress from Pakistan.

That is an Indian wedding Sari on the right.

Another thing I utterly delight in is my ridiculously large jewelry collection.  When I had my Native American store we carried tons of jewelry.  So consequently I have an embarrassingly huge amount of turquoise.

Behind the jewelry is an antique doll clothing steamer trunk.  I used to keep my jewelry in it but slowly it has all come out to be displayed so I can see everything easily.  The jewelry is just too pretty to be kept hidden.

My turquoise…  There is a mix of new and old pawn pieces.

Do you remember the scene in Amadeus where Mozart is trying on wigs before he is to meet the king?  He tried on several, three of which he loves.  He says, and I am paraphrasing, “Oh there all so lovely…  why can’t I have three heads”… and then he gives one of those ridiculous laughs.  I wish I had more arms so I could wear all my bracelets at once.

My Indian bangles…

My earrings, definitely need more ears too…

Necklaces too. at least with these the more you wear the cooler it looks…

Look at this beautiful piece.  It is a miniature Buddha shrine.

Here it is open, showing the Buddha.  That is a rather magnificent turquoise pendant behind it.

And look at this adorable mini Christmas tree.  I got it from Karla’s Cottage. A lovely lady and beautiful artist.  I couldn’t pack it away with the Christmas things as it was just too cute.

Well I think that is enough eye candy for one post.  If you have made it the whole way through…  thank you for letting me share.  Don’t you agree I am one lucky lady!

Blessings!

Our lovely, eclectic, scitzophrenic, stuffed home

10 December 2010

I always love to look at beautiful home decorating sites.  Places like Vintage Rose or French Larkspur.  These sites always have gorgeous pictures of serene white on white homes with beautiful vintage items all in soothing shades.

I pour through old stacks of Victoria magazines admiring the sophisticated homes with everything just so.  I have created weddings with that beautiful cream and white rustic/vintage look.  I just adore them!

I have tried so often to create a similar look in our home…  but to no avail.  The 50 cats and the devastation in their wake not withstanding, I just have way too many wonderful, crazy, disparate, colorful,  things!

As I said in an earlier post I have been clearing out a couple of storage sheds and putting our house back to rights (we had to evacuate in a fire, lucky the house didn’t burn).  I didn’t remember how much wonderful stuff I had.  And of course over the last year and a half that our stuff has been in storage I collected (as I am wont to do)… more lovely stuff!

I am ready to move into the mansion any day now, one with at least 20 rooms,  a barn, a garage, work spaces and a huge library and kitchen.  Unfortunately those are a bit out of our price range (not too mention I would have to CLEAN those 20 plus rooms and of course we would have many more cats with all the extra room!)

So here I sit with all my lovely stuff thinking wistfully of those beautiful cream colored magazine homes.

I look at my Moroccan rugs with all their warm desert colors and imagine replacing them with a huge sisal or Berber carpet in shades of oatmeal.  No.. can’t do it.

My colorful Tiffany style lamps with their jewel tones glowing at night.  Instead a beautiful linen shaded lamp or wall sconces?  No,  not really me.

What about my Indian Sari collection in a rainbow of hues?  Put them in a cabinet and hide there joyous celebration of life’s happy colors?  No, the doors on the cabinet would have to be left open.

The other item that causes me such decor consternation and one that I rarely see in those beautiful pictures of pristine homes are books. At least not in the quantities that we have.

I wouldn’t mind them so much if we had an old English library, the kind that is two stories with walnut shelves, a huge fireplace and a brass ladder on railings that went around the room.  They would fit beautifully there, though maybe we would need three stories…

Did I mention we have a lot of books…

Ours are not the gorgeous large coffee table art books, ours are much loved, read and re-read tattered friends.  Some of them look like the cats dragged them in (or at least curled up on top of for long catnaps in the sun).  Many of these came from our families who also read and re-read them.

I actually do have a few beautiful art books, these came from my Grandmother.

Look at these precious tiny books…  I think they belonged to my Grandfather.

I saw in a magazine once a home that had turned all the books in the bookcase so their colorful spines faced the inside of the bookshelf and the plain pages side faced outward.  Maybe I am missing something but the obvious question to me is how do you know which book is which?  The plain paper edges blended in nicely with the color pallet of the living room but I DEFINATELY could not do that!

And my china.  I have dishes from both sides of my family going way back!

Hide them in a cupboard because they are jumbled and colorful?

No… can’t do it.  I love to have them out so I can feast my eyes on all their loveliness!

Look at this beautiful tea set from my Mom,

She would have no problem getting me to finish my tea…

You see there was a lovely surprise in the bottom of the cup, waiting for me…

Another fun item from my Mom…  The Old Man…

He is really a tall candle holder. Maybe he was supposed to be one of the three kings, I don’t know.  I just thought he was so cool when I was a kid, still do…

Our bathroom…  my husband is really very indulgent!!

I love vintage clothes…

A garden pot holder, sometimes I use it for flowers in a vintage wedding…

(More clothes…  for faeries…)


(our bedroom…  we love trees, can you guess?)

(my side of the bed…  I just love vintage suitcases!)                 (Vintage trunks across from the foot of our bed)

(My vintage steamer trunk… with curious Cleo the kitty)

(Across from the foot of our bed.  This used to be a display cabinet in my store 15 years ago.  Now it houses our TV)

Looking into our tiny kitchen…

I got a little crazy painting the walls in here (they used to all be white, now the bathroom and the kitchen cabinets are the only white left in the house!)

After sponging several colors onto the wall I then stamped old postal markings, watches, and dragonflies in various complimentary colors.

Vintage cloth napkins in a letter holder on the wall (the stethoscope is for the kitties…)

Our pantry… and tea storage…  My Mom trained me well with the lady in the bottom of the tea cup…  I am constantly drinking tea!

So as I carry on trying to find a place for everything and those things I can’t find places for shoving and tucking and squeezing them in all the nooks and crannies I am reflecting that my home though not the polished show home of my dreams is however my husbands and my home and should reflect us.

This is always the counsel that I give my brides and grooms, that their wedding should be about them and not about the latest style in the magazines.  I guess I am taking my own advise.

Unpacking these many boxes and discovering all my treasures, the road markers from my life and that of my husbands’ makes me grateful for my eclectic style and the generations of “crapstakers” that I come from (a friend once called himself that and after I picked myself up off the floor from laughing so hard I thought that aptly described me).  I am so lucky to have all these wonderful, beautiful keepsakes!  What a joy to look at and use!

So when you get tired of dusting and organizing all your lovely wonderful stuff visit this post again and remember that these things are part of who your are, these things tell your story…  and be grateful you don’t have as much stuff as I do!!!!!!!

WHEW!!!  That was exhausting!!!

PS  I just got the Christmas goodies up…  I will post that soon (hopefully).

The faeries in my garden and Stevie Nicks…

12 September 2010

Well my goodness…  I didn’t mean to take such a long break but I guess thats what I did!  Lots of weddings this summer and lots of other things going on too!

First I have to tell you I am deep in faerie heaven!

“Faerie Head Quarters”

There is a huge fund raiser for the local Santa Barbara Community Environmental council in October and they hired me as the designer of the event.  Now some may not realize this but when people ask me for a “green” party that means something a bit different to me.  Not only will the party be as environmentally friendly as possible but green to me brings in the mythological forest beings as well.  Soooo…  This party will be a beautiful celtic themed forest complete with hundreds of trees and a faerie queen and the green man and loads of faeries and elves.  Therefore I have been buried in making costumes and fantastical table top “trees” as centerpieces.  Lots and lots of fun.  Here are some of our lovely actors being fitted for their magical transformation.

“Indigo”   

“Moss”

“Moss’s” wings

Details of “Indigo” and “Moss”

The Birch Faerie Queen who rides in on a Unicorn.

Detail of a set of wings made from Indian saris.

In the center where the wings meet I tucked in a birds nest.

Here are some of the mossy eclectic “trees” that will be some of the centerpieces.  They will have hanging candles and lots of small ferns and plants at the base with the addition of mushrooms and more moss.

I love putting in lots of details, here is a birds nest along side a pine cone.

All the while we have been working on the faerie party the house was being re-plastered and painted (it looks a bit like it snowed around here what with the plaster dust and overspray).  This meant that I had to rip off all the beautiful flowers on the front of the house and then in the process of the men working on the house the remaining garden was pretty much trampled.  Now I love an overgrown packed full garden so everything only looked lovely and complete to me in this last year having planted from scratch 4 years ago.   Well I guess I get to have a “do-over” on the garden.  The men just finished last week so I went out and splurged on several large plants (I am impatient and do not want to wait another 4 years!).

I got the most lovely trailing rose called “Flutterby”  with the most beautiful yellow and salmon 4 petal roses.  I also got all my favorites like sage, lavender, rosemary, scented geranium, penstemon, jasmine and a few other goodies.

This is the most wonderful smelling flower called snail flower (I think).  I placed it right next to the front door so every time you come in and out the scent wafts into the room.  I will take more pictures as the garden progresses.

Well if the outside of the house was having a makeover I felt like I needed to address the inside.  I mean if you wash the outside of the car you kind of need to clean out the inside too or it just doesn’t feel right.  Soooo on top of everything else I started overhauling the interiors.

2 years ago we had to evacuate in one of California’s crazy wildfires.  We had enough notice so we literally packed it all up!  It went into storage and I have only just started puling things out bit by bit.  Reworking the interiors meant that I got to pull out tons of stuff and redecorate.  It has felt like Christmas as I open box upon box of my precious goodies that I haven’t seen for 2 years!

My vintage suitcases and fun trunks.  I hung lots of saris and a beautiful Indian lamp.

More saris,  a vintage lamp and one of my pastel and charcoal drawings.  I tried copping one of Brian Frouds art pieces…  boy is that man an artist!!

I also made a Birch branch garland with twinkle lights woven in.  I also tucked in a few hanging crystals and a faerie or two (of course!). It casts the most beautiful glow.

Yea my dragonfly lamp is back!!!!

I hung the Faerie Brides wings from my faerie and elf wedding photo shoot over a lovely cabinet my husband got me for my birthday which is sitting on a vintage trunk.

My Indian Lion chair…

Or should I say Cat chair…

As with the garden the house isn’t finished yet so I will share more pictures as I finish each room.

I have also had the pleasure of creating several fun weddings that I will share pictures of when the photographers give me copies.  Mostly they were wonderful eclectic vintage affairs (my favorite!).

Lastly I will leave you with a picture my girlfriend took of one of my all time favorite rock goddesses, Stevie Nicks.

Remember a post I wrote a while back about wanting more magic in my life?  Well I got it in spades.

I got to go to a Stevie Nicks concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl.  We had sixth row seats but spent most of the evening dancing right in front of the stage.  Very soon I will tell you the full story which involves a set of faerie wings that lead to another set of faerie wings for a very special girl and tons of amazing serendipitous moments.  For now enjoy this picture, this is how close we were able to get!  Can you believe she is 62?  What an amazing woman!

Wedding Wings

7 June 2010
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Remember when I wrote a while back about the wings I was making for a lovely bride?  Well I have finally finished them along with a beautiful cloak and wreath to complete her wedding ensemble.

I am so pleased with the results, and I can say that as they are now in the bride’s hands and she seems thrilled too.  I had my friend Nancy Little Moon come over and try everything on for me so I could take a few pictures.  She is so beautiful inside and out.  I just love to have her model for me (she was the high priestess in the faerie wedding photo shoot on my web site). By the way she is also a wedding officiant who preforms the most beautiful and meaning full ceremonies. You can visit her web site Blessings in Paradise.com for more info.

(above) detail of the beading on the cloak.

I split the cloak up the back so it flows around the wings.  The wings are on a padded metal brace that slides between the skin and the corset.  They are remarkably light weight for being so large.

(above right)  detail of the wreath

I used a vintage Indian Sari and then glued to the edges moss, beads, jewels, bugs and all manor of magical things

My bride wanted it to evoke not just faeries but mermaids as well so I gave it a bit of a fish tale look.

(above) detail of the wing root.  (above right) a lovely dragon fly just for fun!

What a magical way to start a marriage!

wedding wings

21 April 2010

I have been working on some fun projects of late…  I had my first “faerie” bride comission me to make her a set of wings for her wedding.  She bought the most beautiful amber color wedding dress that I am matching with vintage sari material for the wings.  She also loves mermaids so we are making it a bit of a cross between wings and fish tails.

I am not done yet but here they are mid way…

I will be adding shells, bugs and all manor of fun things.  Here is a close up of the embroidery on the sari…

more deails…

Anyway I will post a picture of the completed wings later and hopefully I will show you the bride with her magic wings on her wedding day!!

Saris, India & color!

28 February 2010
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Saris amaze and delight me.  Their colors and patterns are endless yet all express unfettered happiness.  Most Indian women, even the very poorest working in the fields, wear them .  No drab khakis or blue jeans for laboring but instead sunshine yellow, cheery pinks and fuchsia, vibrant reds, turquoise blues and teal greens.  Most of these beautiful creations have incredible detail woven into the fabric.  Some are shot through with metallic thread and some have elaborate embroidery.

I have recently been helping some friends open their Indian store in Santa Barbara and have had the tremendous pleasure of playing with all their gorgeous merchandise.  I am continually struck by how beautiful even the most simple items are.  Everything is embellished and most everything is created in a riot of colors.  Every little thing seems to celebrate life!  The senses are under a constant barrage of beauty, whether it’s your eyes delighting in all the color and patterns or your nose taking in the aroma of pungent incense and spices that your taste buds are also savoring.  Even the music has an incessant celebratory beat.

I have a couple of books that express well the vibrant sights and art that is India.

“Rajasthan” by Pauline van Lynden

Above: An Indian wedding                   The women wear stacks and stacks of bangles!

Sari detail

Always the clothes are a mixture of beautiful colors,

no mater what they are doing.

Another great book “India in word and Image” by Eric Meola

Beautiful architectural detail!                           An entirely blue city!   Jodhpur

Working in a sari

I never tire of looking through these books, they are wonderful!

I also know I will never tire of beautiful saris…  I hope my friends need my help at their store often.