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IMG_0763 the fall 2013 sun and glory lookbook and product is here! been spending a lot of time on this the past few weeks, or month. i am super happy with this lookbook. my friend kat, a model here in colorado, came up to the cabin to do the shoot. though the sun never made an appearance, it was a great day of shooting. i shot, styled, and made this lookbook and overall it is kind of one big art piece for me.  i love doing this stuff.  i narrowed down the line this season, making a few key pieces-making bigger statements. go have a look! this season we are also offering a 5 % donation of your online order to the Native American Heritage Association.

http://sunandgloryshop.com

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photo-2thanks for all your comments and support on my lack of lust for the blog these days.  it is more than gracious and encouraging to know that i  actually just might be inspiring some. after all that is the point right? i took a bit of careful thought, and i remembered why i am here- to keep busy and to stay creative. to constantly challenge myself, to judge less, to learn more. sometimes my hopes and my dreams get in the way of my self encouragement…that’s when you have to check yourself.  what’s it really about? what’s really important?

i have had a few emotional weeks sort of freaking out about my upcoming nomadic adventures. though, i am extremely excited and curious to see how to feels to actually put my stuff in storage and the comfort of home stripped from my routine. in my heart it is an intentional move, but this also scares me because when i think about what i am really in search of, it is home. i just don’t know where it is yet.  i hope i don’t ricochet off the water like a stone into the atmosphere. have i chosen the wrong side of the fork in the road along the way? i generally have little regret. that is one thing i can say for sure, but what if i had taken a different path, would life look different, or would my wandering soul still be guiding my search in life. it’s true, i  am driven by curiosity.

as scary as it is and without a clue where i shall land, it ultimately feels right.

IMG_9224 IMG_9237 IMG_9239it seems many recipes come to me while doing yoga these days. go figure. i started thinking about the sweet little strawberry and summer days. how they fill my morning smoothies, but i felt she deserved to be the star of the show. strawberries and balsamic, such an elegant combo- so why not throw them into a crust and call it a crostata. with a little almond flavored whip cream, it is a delight on a summer’s eve.

i was lazy and decided to skip one last grocery store run to get white flour and sugar. so, for the crust i used whole wheat flour and brown sugar. this however, made the dough very delicate, i assume from the larger granulated sugar.  the key to crust, or scones for that matter, is very cold butter. it seems whenever i make something like this, i do it on a hot day ruining my flaky crust. it was still tasty though.

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recipe:

for the filling

1 case of strawberries

2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp flour

3 tbsp of sugar

3 tbsp of butter

cut your strawberries into quarters. sprinkle the sugar over the strawberries (i actually used vanilla infused sugar) and stir. melt butter in a saute pan. add the strawberries and the balsamic. cook for just a minute adding in the flour to thicken up the sauce. you don’t need to add the flour, i just did so for thickening.

for the filling (adapted from barefoot contessa)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) ice water


place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. pulse a few times to combine. add the butter and toss quickly (and carefully!) with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. with the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together. turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, roll it into a ball, cut in half, and form into 2 flat disks. wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. if you only need 1 disk of dough. the other disk of dough can be frozen.

preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. transfer it to the baking sheet. add the filling into the center of the crust. fold over the edges overlapping corners, etc.  bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden.

for whip cream

1 cup of heavy cream

1 tsp of almond extract

6 tbsp of powdered sugar

whip all together with a mixer or food processor.

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i admit i have had a lack of affinity for the blog lately. sometimes i want to give it up, and then sometimes i become filled with inspiration and motivation.  perhaps the job i did last week in denver stripped a bit of inspiration from me, but has allowed me to regain some ideas of where i would like the blog to flow to. i am hoping to simplify my content finding more of a cohesive flow, though it seems i am constantly saying something like that.  i have always had a hard time with simplicity. by character and by the way i surround myself.  i am always longing for a more simple home, simple decoration (more storage could cure that), more simple ideas and motivations in life, simple relationships….as if this will solve life’s problems or perhaps just take the pressure off my lack of motivation to clean. less stuff, less mess?

even though everything is made in china, i can’t help but to love hobby lobby. a few weeks ago i was roaming the aisles looking for a way to make some stained glass, but instead i found these octagon mirrors. i love the clean and simple lines of geometry…how those lines come together perfectly and with ease. i always liked math in school, there was an answer at the end. i never understood that infinity part, it left me uneasy.

i turned the two mirrors with holes into a wall hanging using white deerskin, a few beads, and some feathers. you can find deerskin and feathers at your local craft store, though i used the supplies i use for the sun and glory line. i find these from native american trading posts and you can too online. for fun, i also made a design on a flat mirror (with no hole) using it as either a jewelry display on placing a plant on top!

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IMG_8974i have been taking my time these days and spending it on the property harvesting goodies and making special projects with them. sage, chokecherries, and yarrow have been my main foraging glory. i feel like i am in heaven when hunting for things in nature. it is so special to find mother earth’s gifts. i walked up and down the property looking for the smallest batches of yarrow. by the time i had figured out what it was, it started to disappear. hoping more will pop up soon.

yarrow is a very special flower with many medicinal purposes and history. here are a few website with great info: the withchipedia and ryandrum. more than likely you have it growing in your yard somewhere. at first sight i thought it was queen anne’s lace, which can be a common mistake.  do be careful if you are looking to harvest this yourself as there are a few very poisonous  look a likes. i did a lot of research to make sure i was harvesting the right plant. the biggest distinguisher comes from the leaves of the yarrow which look like mini ferns.

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yarrow is great for cuts, scrapes, menstrual cycles, fertility, repelling bugs, and colds/flu….just to name a few things. it can even be used in place of hops for beer. i made a few concoctions to have around the house.

yarrow tea : great for when the onset of a cold or flu starts. be cautious of how much tea you drink. i did find a few disclaimers around the web.

yarrow/thyme coconut oil : great for applying to wounds to help heal.  i used coconut oil instead of olive oil. coconut oil can solidify and therefore works great for applying to the skin.

yarrow / lavender bug spray: using vodka and adding lavender oil, both flowers help to repell bugs. when i was carrying around the basket of yarrow, i had no bug bites. when i put it down to harvest the chokecherries, i came back with 4 mosquito bites!
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sage: a few weeks ago, i was walking around  the property and discovered all these new things growing, one of which looked like white sage. turns out it is some form of it. then i was frolicking on the ranch up where it feels like a different world than by the river, a desert wonderland, and discovered more sagebrush. i am still trying to figure out exactly what kinds these are as there are so many forms of sage. the first kind i found, i also found growing in california when i was harvesting california white sage. perhaps you remember this post here?  though it is not the same as california white sage, it still smells great. the other type i believe to be a dwarf sagebrush. again, this is different even that the sage i have seen growing in new mexico or california. it still smells great though when burning. sage, traditionally is used for cleansing, though i admit i like it for the flavor it gives to the air.

i could hardly control my excitement to find all this. i have considered a trip back to ojai just to harvest more cali white sage. now, i’ve got something great to take away from colorado. i harvested a plethora and plan to go back for more. i sat outside one evening and wrapped these bundles of joy for gifts. i also give these to each sun and glory order that goes out.

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*** please note, i am not an expert when it comes to foraging or harvesting yarrow or sage. please do your own research when doing so or check with local officials.  this post is intended to inspire, not necessarily to teach. thank you!***

 

IMG_8683thank you for the kind comments from the previous post. i was surprised at the interest in my writing. frankly, i am more of a picture person vs. a reader…so, i guess i assumed what i wrote was the least important part. so, thank you for reading. with that said, let me go off on some more tangents.

i have made the decision to leave the cabin. it was a hard one, but i feel confident it is the right one for now.  i am sad to not see some of the things around the property come to life or change in the fall, but anxious to see what kinds of things can surprise me still the next month.  i haven’t a clue where i shall end up after this. denver is an option, putting my stuff in storage and roaming around seems to be the main focus. there is something super exciting about that, as well as a bit daunting. where will i end up after it all? it is possible i will wander on forever.

even though most of my thoughts lately have been about leaving the cabin, oddly enough, i find myself missing LA again. the past few days i have been listening to some old yo la tengo albums. the one’s that were on repeat in my first apartment in LA. music always takes me right back. i can almost taste the foods i ate back then, i can see myself as i was- the clothes i wore, driving in my car, the feelings i had.  after getting through the first year there i started to find a little place for myself. i stayed up late, drank lots of wine, had a very large stack of cd’s accumulating in my living room, made t-shirts with lace and dye, took polaroids,  and was just starting my career. seems like yesterday, seems like forever ago. back when i was a magazine horror, wore converse, was addicted to amoeba and friendster, and had a very large boxy computer.  i’m not sure why these memories are popping up in my head lately. maybe, leaving the cabin somehow means i am leaving LA behind too.

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everyday, i have been taking walks around the property.   piking wildflowers for bouquets and yesterday, i spent the afternoon harvesting all sorts of these other goodies. sucking in all that the sunshine and mountains behold. stopping to see what surrounds me, to see what is growing. you should try it sometime, you might be surprised what you find. every single day i see a new flower, a new plant, hell, yesterday, i discovered a cherry tree outside my bedroom window. for the past month i thought it was an apple tree with stunted apples, but a few started changing color and i stopped to look up and realized they were cherries…i was ecstatic. as i walked away from my new exciting discovery i remembered how sad i was to leave LA and all the lush vegetation of my backyard. the lemon tree, the fig tree, the rosemary bush…never would i have guessed i would have found all that i have here, in colorado. it reassured me of the future, that it can always surprise you.

there are a million apple trees around the property. a few pear trees, tons of chokecherry bushes, a grapevine, now a cherry tree, and even a peach tree, though she isn’t producing anything this year.  it has been raining a lot- thunderstorms or clouds almost everyday.  there are a plethora of mushrooms growing everywhere. i havent a clue what kind they are, nor do i intend to find out. i know a lot of the puffball mushrooms have turned out to be poisonous. i am continually fascinated by the eco system i am living in. the cabin sits in a bowl down by the river, allotting for shade and sun with rich soil from the river.  a short walk up the road and you are in a desert.  open space and to my surprise tons and tons of sage growing. i can’t begin to explain my joy when i discovered it…which i will try in my next post about the harvesting of it. i have even discovered yarrow on the property . there are cacti and all sorts of strange looking desert flowers. i have never stopped to notice a pine tree growing it’s branches, or what a baby pine cone looks like.

it is the perfect combo of desert and mountain…. because it is just that -a mountain desert.

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IMG_8899 IMG_8732then there is my own garden. i admit, i have been a little bit lazy about it. i have it watered on a timer, and only occasionally do i go over to trim and de-weed. the tomatos are doing pretty decent, but some of the other things, like the zucchini, are growing slowly. i have been a little too lazy to figure it out though. i’m just happy with whatever she wants to provide me with, naturally. one evening, the sun was glowing on the garden. the colors were so incredible. one of my favorite things to do everyday is to visit her and see how she is doing…what’s newly ripe or getting bigger.

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i am so thankful for the bounty this place has surprised me with.  nature, is my church, it is my god. it’s what allows me to discover what i hold within myself. i couldn’t be more thankful for the time i have spent here. i know in my heart, i will find my way back to this lifestyle  time and time again.

i suppose , ten years down another road, i will put on that yo la tengo album again, remembering these moments now…walking outside my back door discovering a cherry tree, harvesting a basket of sagebrush, and breathing in the smell of pine.

never underestimate the small moments- my biggest lesson thus far.

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IMG_9863so…two things.

1. this is my first adornment post. i am actually kind of nervous to post it. i have been contemplating doing this for a long time now. after all, i am a wardrobe stylist. that is how i make the majority of my living. i majored in costume and fashion at school. i know how to sew, i know how to shop, i know how to fit people. it’s what i do. i suppose i have just always been fearful of posting photos of myself. now, in my mid twenties, i would have been all about it. i was way more into selflies back then. now, a days, i have to be honest, it makes me feel slightly narcissistic. but…for today, i am going to get over that.  generally, you can find me in a t-shirt and leggings sitting at my computer with no makeup on. yeah, i could step it up sometimes!

the funny thing is, being all alone out here, i have to take these by myself. which is difficult. generally, i am behind the camera and can see the details, like the tree coming out of my head. i just bought a new camera lense, so i am hoping that is going to help the quality of my images too…for all posts.

a little about my style: i like key pieces. one piece, like a dress or top that is a statement piece. accompanied by a necklace or earrings. i don’t like to over accessorize. a little can go a long way. i tend for bohemian like dresses, but i also love that whole kinfolk look too. simple, muted colors. i don’t always wear a lot of color…but am trying to branch out. i am also not a size 2, so i go for things i am most comfortable in. knowing your body is key, but feeling good in what you are wearing is crucial. for example, if you aren’t comfortable walking in heels, you probably shouldn’t wear them. it just looks bad. confidence is everything. i have had many fashion phases, but the bohemian has stuck the longest. thank god it isn’t my futuristic phase from college. i think i finally got rid of all those pieces.

2. i gave my notice on the cabin. more to come on that later.

i am not sure what moving will mean for the blog. when i can post, what i can post, hell, i might never do an outfit post again. but… when i started the blog, i intended to do more fashion. it just didn’t happen. maybe because i do shop for a living, my hobbies became about something else. i also, hardly see myself as a model, but i personally like to see other ladies style posts on their blogs. i finally decided to take a chance and give it a try. seems to be the theme the past few days.

i would LOVE your feedback. would you be interested in more fashion posts? why do you follow my blog? is it the food, the diy, the travel, my crazy banter? i would love to hear from you!

credits:

dress/caftan: topshop

necklace: sun and glory

sandals: madeline