On Meditation

July 23, 2014 § Leave a comment


On Meditation: Gabrielle Bernstein, Short Film & Discussion, Rubin Museum of Art Talks, Wednesday August 20th, 2014, 7pm, New York. Premiere screening of a portrait of life coach Gabrielle Bernstein talking about her meditation practice. The film is followed by a conversation between Gabrielle and contemplative psychotherapist Joe Loizzo on what effects meditation is thought to have on our happiness and wellbeing. A book signing follows, including her latest bestsellers Miracles Now and May Cause Miracles.

 Gabrielle_Book Miracles Now: 108 Life-Changing Tools for Less Stress, More Flow, and Finding Your True Purpose by Gabrielle Bernstein, Hardcover, Published by: Hay House Inc, April 2014

108 simple techniques to combat our most common problems -stress, burnout, frustration, jealousy, resentment. The stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis. This book is designed so that you can achieve peace and experience miracles now. Inspired by some of the greatest spiritual teachings, these practical, moment-to-moment tools will help you eliminate blocks and live with more ease. Powerful, life-changing meditations and principles, modernized and broken down into easy-to-digest techniques to fit your lifestyle. Throughout the book, Bernstein shares principles from both A Course in Miracles and Kundalini yoga and meditation. Tools that can help you find your connection to your inner strength and inspire inner peace.


Life coach Gabrielle Bernstein is the New York Times best-selling author of Miracles Now and May Cause Miracles. She appears regularly as an expert on NBC’s Today Show, has been featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday as a next-generation thought leader, and was named “a new role model” by the New York Times. She is also the author of the books Add More ~ing to Your Life, and Spirit Junkie. Gabrielle is a regular contributor to Metro and The Huffington Post. She has presented lectures at Google, TEDxWomen, L’Oreal, Agape Spiritual Center, Integral Yoga, Kripalu and universities nationwide, among many others. Gabrielle is a certified Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher. She is also trained in the Emotional Freedom Technique and she’s a student of Trancendental Meditation -as taught by the David Lynch Foundation.

Joe Loizzo, M.D., Ph.D. is a contemplative psychotherapist, researcher and teacher who integrates ancient contemplative science and technology with current breakthroughs in neuroscience and optimal health. After training in psychiatry at Harvard and completing a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at Columbia, he founded Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science, a contemplative learning community that teaches timeless tools of self-healing and interdependence for today’s complex world. His latest book is Sustainable Happiness: The Mind Science of Well-Being, Altruism, and Inspiration.

Rose Petal Jam

July 15, 2014 Comments Off

With Roses in full bloom now is a good time to make the most of the plentiful supply of petals and preserve them for use all year round. There is nothing that heals the soul quite like morning sunshine, time well-spent in the garden, and Rose Petal Jam. Turn garden Rose Petals into a sweet, stunning treat with this Rose Petal Jam recipe. Capture the scent of a Summer garden and put it in a jar on your shelf!


 Rose Petal Jam is fragrant and floral, and it’s lovely on crusty toasted sunflower seed bread. Eating Roses for breakfast, what an intoxicating, exotic, beautiful and romantic way to start the day. If you ever wondered what it might be like for a hummingbird to taste a Rose, this jam is for you!


2 cups filtered water
3 cups organic wild rose petals, thicker tissue at base of petals removed
2 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 ounces liquid fruit pectin + (more for desired thickness)
1 Tbsp rose water


Step One: Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan; remove from heat. Add petals; cover, and steep for 30 minutes. Strain liquid into clean saucepan. Discard petals.

Step Two: Add sugar and lemon juice to pan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, over medium-high heat. Boil 2 minutes; add pectin, and boil 2 minutes (for firmer jelly, boil up to 2 minutes more). Remove from heat, add rose water. Pour into sterilized jars, and let cool completely. Makes 3 1/4 cups. Store in refrigerator up to 6 months.

Garden Note

Pick a pretty color Rose because your jam will be about the same color as the petals. The jam is made in small batches so you can vary the color of each batch depending on the amount of light and dark-colored Roses that are used. As a general rule of thumb, the most fragrant Roses are usually the most flavorful. All Roses that you intend to eat must be free of pesticides. Do not eat flowers from florists or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops.

Valentino Love

July 13, 2014 Comments Off


Model wearing creation backstage as part of the Valentino Fall|Winter 2014-15 Haute Couture Collection, Paris 2014.

The Roman influences of this collection are on full display in this flowing gown, paired with knee-high gladiator sandals. Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli channeled the pre-Raphaelite era for their Valentino goddess collection presented in Paris this week, naming looks after Elizabeth Siddal and Sibylla Palmifera. “We love the idea that the artists looked to the past to create something new,” Chiuri said backstage. “That’s what we try to do.” They wanted, they said, to explore the idea of how you work “memory and the future together,” and so they did, to divine effect. They took concepts with classical and religious resonance -tunic, chasuble, draping, gladiator sandal- and worked them into pieces that radiated the power of gentility. Classical Simplicity. Some are utterly modest, as the crepe tunics and gowns, others, done in unfussy intarsia motifs. Others still are crafted from rarefied materials, even by haute standards, skirts and coats made from museum-worthy pieces of 17th-century tapestries. The collection is lovely. Romantic, but with a nice sense of rawness. As the Pre-Raphaelites would have put it: Back to nature! Up with beauty! Valentino Love.

Art Of The Home

July 9, 2014 Comments Off

Ralph Lauren. The quintessential American designer -who continues to redefine American style, beautifully. He had me at wider neck ties and Polo Shirts, decades ago. Ties and shirts eventually led to seasonal head-to-toe collections outfitting both men and women. Some of Lauren’s earliest fashion successes were his interpretations of traditional British sportswear (riding clothes, hunting tweeds, Scottish tartans), and that style remains one of his hallmarks. It’s also an aesthetic that helped shape signature pieces in the Ralph Lauren Home Collection. Back in the 1980’s, in the days before major fashion houses had furnishings lines, the designer launched Ralph Lauren Home, expanding his vision of a thoroughly stylish life.


Ralph Lauren posing in the entry hall of his Bedford New York home dressed for riding.

Last year marked the 30th anniversary of Lauren’s pioneering home collection, a line whose impact and influence have been monumental. Customers can now buy Ralph Lauren bedding, furniture, lighting, rugs, china and glassware, wall coverings, and paint in a wide variety of looks with evocative names such as English Riding Velvet, Romantic Traveler, Alpine Lodge, The Heiress, Desert Modern, and new this year, the chic Ile Saint-Louis Collection. Ralph Lauren Home presents award-winning, one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by the classic heirloom furniture of 18th and 19th century America. Understanding that home begins within, the aesthetic of this collection reflects a personal evolution of individual style through timeless objects that employ a definitive design heritage. Original craftsmanship and era-specific flourishes make these items an investment that will last generations.


Ralph Lauren Home, Ile Saint Louis Saint Germain Sawbuck Desk in Sandblasted Oak Natural & Cannes Dugiere Dinning Chair with Montmarte Stripe Linen Washed Finish Fabric In Lilac, The Ile Saint-Louis Collection is an unassuming ode to bohemian elegance, a mix of vintage-inspired and industrial designs softened by a muted palette of tonal neutrals and lilac. Ralph Lauren always gets creating iconic, time-worn Old World eclectic luxury, right.


 Ralph Lauren Home, Ile Saint Louis Evalina Chandelier in Butlier’s Silver, 46 1/2 x 36, This classic empire chandelier is designed with a minimalist metal frame to emphasis the emerald-cut graduated oval strands of crystals that have been hand cut and polished. Capturing the raw beauty of natural materials and the sophistication of classic furniture shapes, these signature pieces showcase Ralph Lauren’s most recognizable influences -from the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age to the Western frontier.


Ralph Lauren Home, Ile Saint Louis Chelsea Damask Wallcovering in Sandalwood, In this collection, luxury textures of natural seagrass, cork and scroll embroidery mix with romantic damasks and floral arabesques in a rich, neutral palette evoking an atmosphere of graceful elegance. Other wallcovering collections include: Archival English Papers, Century Club Textures, Serengeti Textures and Stripe Library.


Ralph Lauren Faux Finish Paint in High Desert Suede, Ralph Lauren signature paint has set the industry standard for quality, color selection, and elegant faux finishes. Lauren’s classic Antiqued Leather Technique transforms rooms by imparting detailed texture and patina of beautifully aged leather to any interior. Suede evokes the appeal of brushed suede with rich, authentic character. Light is reflected and absorbed, creating the feel of sophisticated romance for which Ralph Lauren is known. Suede is available in 44 colors. Specialty Finishes also available in River Rock and Regent Metallics.


Ralph Lauren Home, Desert Modern Sofa & Ottoman, Wood Club Chair & Cocktail Table in Desert Teak, Inspired by the vast beauty of the Western frontier, many of the pieces in this collection are sumptuous suede upholstery, calming earth tones, and warm woods, complemented with accessories and tableware with clean lines and natural materials. Exceptional Plantation Teak and textural fabrics in tonal neutrals create an iconic rugged luxury that is decidedly Ralph Lauren.


Ralph Lauren Home, Desert Modern Dining Table & Chairs in Dry Desert Teak, This solid Oak contemporary table impresses with the unique thickness of its wood and for its exposed hand-fitted mortise and tenon joints. Surrounded by crisp and tailored Tuxedo style dining chairs that feature tapered Teak wood legs. Thoughtfully chosen palette and textures creates visual harmony and contrast juxtapose the desert landscape.


Ralph Lauren Home, The Heiress Sofa in Estate Mahogany Finish & Clarissa Damask Linen & Silk Fabric in Cameo, This opulent sofa boasts exuberantly rolled arms, brass nail head trim and stepped square George V legs on castors & feather down cushions. Ralph Lauren signature fabrics are carefully woven by skilled artisans around the world, to create a rich tapestry of patterns and textures, ensuring that they are of heirloom quality.


Ralph Lauren Home, Alpine Lodge Table in Chalet Pine, Epic mastery and hearty, rustic Pine come together to make this majestic table. Inspired by international glamour of a well-appointed ski chalet, the Alpine Lodge collection features lush earthy textures and tones, and classic patterns that create a modern, ultraluxe statement.


Ralph Lauren Home, Alpine Lodge Shearing Blanket & Cashmere Pillow, A plush long-hair shearing throw is crafted in a pieced-quadrant construction and backed in soft knit wool for added warmth and rich texture, with an ultra-soft cashmere pillow featuring a variety of patterns and motifs. In subtle yet impressive neutral shades -from cocoa to cream, these heritage-inspired designs beautifully complement and accessorize the Alpine Lodge collection. Like all of Ralph Lauren Signature Classics -great attention to detail, design and quality, with an emphasis on sumptuous materials and iconic color palette.


Ralph Lauren Home, Alpine Lodge Chest in Chalet Pine Finish, Provincial three-drawer solid Pine dresser in the Louis 15th style with an unusual apron profile & spade feet. With a focus on authenticity and quality, Ralph Lauren produces unique pieces that are as true to form as they are to function and reflect a refined sense of character that only improves with time.


Ralph Lauren Home, Colorado Club Chair & Ottoman in Moab Tan Leather, The mid-century lines of a 1940’s lounge chair take on a Western spirit in distressed leather with whipstitched edges and bold hammered nickel nailhead trim. Available in a variety of fabrics, leather, custom upholstery & base finish.


Ralph Lauren Home, California Romantic Victoria Falls Louis XVI Chair in Sienna & Mahogany Finish, A masterpiece of elegance, this bergere features an exaggerated cabriolet back & elite springdown seat cushion. A feminine statement piece, equally lovely in the boudoir or bedroom. Enduring style and exquisite craftsmanship, synonymous with the name Ralph Lauren.


Ralph Lauren Home, RLH Collection Leather Trunk, 36 x 16 x 24, Heavily worn leather on Pine, nailhead brass studs trim, and an angular shape create the industrial feel of this trunk. In true Ralph Lauren style, the trunk blends masterful craftsmanship with the ethos of historic furniture design.


Ralph Lauren Home, RLH Collection Trestle Desk in Scrubbed Walnut Finish, A solid Walnut writing surface is supported on a pair of A-frame trestles and supports. This frontier writing desk, inspired by a piece from New Mexico crafted circa 1920, also features dual-sided partners’ drawers and iron hardware. Influenced by one-of-a-kind pieces, this collection is defined by period construction details and authentic craftmanship, that embody the spirit of artisanal luxury.


Ralph Lauren Home, Indian Cove Lodge Fauteuil in Solid Walnut Gilt Finish, This hand-carved Louis XV style fauteuil features a traditional doweled and corner-blocked frame, Rococo carvings and a gold leaf finish. An inviting mix of classic motifs, bespoke craftmanship, and elegantly undone bohemian elements. A piece well-suited for the artful home. Ralph Lauren Love.

Pretty Tasty

July 7, 2014 Comments Off

Wander around most any farmer’s market in Summer and you’ll likely come across squash blossoms, just one of the dozens of edible flowers you can use to dress up a salad or garnish a Summery dish. Right now is the perfect season for these sweet and nutty flavored blossoms. Have you seen squash blossoms at your local farmers market? I encourage you to try them. And if you already have them in the garden, here’s a beautiful and flavorful way to enjoy them. Like any meal, a salad tastes best when you appreciate where it comes from and enjoy it with people you like to be around.


Squash Blossom, Avocado & Butter Lettuce Salad, Quick, delicious, and pretty, too, this salad is nice for a special warm-weather menu -with smooth, velvety textures and harmonious ingredients. Blossoms are a true delicacy -fragile and highly perishable, for best results, add them to your dish within the hour of picking.


1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 organic butter lettuce head, torn into large pieces
2 cups organic small squash blossoms, stems removed, divided
3 Tbsp roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 organic avocado, peeled and sliced
sea salt & pepper to taste


Whisk together lemon juice, oil, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add lettuce, 1 1/2 cups blossoms, the sunflower seeds, and avocado and lightly toss with dressing until coated. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup blossoms on top of salad. Enjoy!

Garden Note

You can get squash, as well as the blossoms, if you harvest the flowers correctly. When you look at a squash flower, you’ll see that some have a tiny squash attached to the base of the flower bud before it blooms -these are the female flowers. Others have no tiny squash attached, just a thin stem leading right up to the flower with a single anther, the part of the flower that sheds powdery yellow pollen -these are male flowers. Plants often make a few male flowers before they produce their first female ones. Pick the male flowers and rub the anther against the sticky center of any open female flowers before taking the boys to the kitchen. This helps ensure that your female flowers turn into plump, flavorful fruit. If you’re not interested in the fruit, you can pick the female flowers before or just as they open and cook them whole with a little olive oil, for a real treat.


Lemonade With Violas, The perfect seasonal accompaniment to the salad would be a fresh squeezed lemonade sprinkled with Violas. Commonly known as “heartsease” for its medicinal properties, Viola tricolor has long been used as an edible flower, sprinkled on salads or as adornments for desserts. Johnny-Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor) makes a dainty plant, with pretty little white, blue, lavender, purple, and yellow-faced miniature pansy flowers. The flavour is delicate, sweet, wintergreen, and perfumed. Both the leaves and blooms are edible. Toss these cheerful little flowers into salads whole, add them to a bowl of fresh fruit, or float them atop cold drinks.

Garden Note

For best flavor and shelf life, pick flowers in the morning after the dew has dried, select blooms that have just opened. Carefully pinch or cut off the pistils and stamens -the parts that stick out in the center of the petals in many flowers, and the green or whitish base of each flower or petal. Common sense: Use organic, pesticide-free plants from nurseries and shops that offer organically grown flowers, pick them from a trusted friend’s organic garden, or grow your own.

NY Film Festival

July 4, 2014 Comments Off


 Laurie Simmons, Poster promoting the 52nd New York Film FestivalDesigned by Laurie Simmons, this year’s poster joins a stellar lineage of designs by prominent artists. NYFF has featured posters designed by distinguished artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, and last year’s artist, Tacita Dean. Considered an annual artistic “signature” for the festival, NYFF posters have taken on a celebrated pop culture significance through the years.The posters will be available to buy for $25 during the upcoming New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center which takes place from 26 Sept.- 12 Oct., 2014.


Laurie Simmons is an internationally recognized artist who stages photographs and films with paper dolls, finger puppets, ventriloquist dummies, and costumed dancers as “living objects,” animating a dollhouse world suffused with nostalgia and colored by an adult’s memories, longings, and regrets. Her photographic works are collected by many institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim as well as The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Tate Modern, Walker Art Center and the Hara Museum, Tokyo.

Simmons’s 2014 solo exhibitions include “Kigurumi, Dollers and How we See,” at Salon 94, New York, and “The Fabulous World of Laurie Simmons” at Neues Museum, Nuremberg, Germany. She was recently shortlisted for the Prix Pictet Award in photography. The nominated works are being exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Currently, she is working on her second film, a narrative feature titled “My Art.” Simmons lives and works in New York.


July 1, 2014 Comments Off


Debbie Harry/Blondie Dreaming, Autographed manuscript of the first verse of “Dreaming” from 1980, 24 x 20 in. large format photograph, from Sotheby’s New York June 2014 auction A Rock & Roll History: Presley To Punk. A classic from the punk band that recently released their 10th studio album to mark their 40th anniversary.

Art Of The Book

June 29, 2014 Comments Off


21st Editions Master Collection of Image, Word, & Artisan Bindings -shelves detail, The 21st Editions Master Collection (1998-2014), 21st Editions’ magnum opus, represents a unique collection of handmade photographs, classic and contemporary literature, and fine press books with artisan bindings. Influenced by the great accomplishments of the likes of Alvin Langdon Coburn, Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Curtis, Maxime DuCamp, Peter Henry Emerson, William Morris, Alfred Stieglitz, and William Henry Fox Talbot, this collection is unique, comprehensive and without equal in its diversity of image, word and craft.


21st Editions Master Collection of Image, Word, & Artisan Bindings -shelves detail, 21st Editions -The Art of the Book publishers in Cape Cod Massachusettes, combines photographic image, prose, poetry, and the fine-press book, unique to the history of photography. The 21st Editions Master Collection is the very first and likely last collection of its kind. There are currently thirteen full and complete sets in the world, to which books are still being added. Five of these are in private collections and one belongs to an academic institution. Of the remaining seven complete sets, the publisher is offering one set comprised of Deluxe Editions as well as one set comprised of both Deluxe and Museum Editions. Currently, the two collections offered are each comprised of 46 and 48 titles of bound books and portfolios, with 570 handmade photographs (495 signed) and 702 handmade photographs (652 signed), respectively.


Imogen Cunningham: Platinum and Palladium, Introduction by Elizabeth Partridge, Excerpts from an interview with Imogen Cunningham conducted by Rondal Partridge, Academy Award nominated documentary by Meg Partridge, 10 bound platinum prints including 1 frontispiece portrait by Rondal Partridge, 1 vintage silver print, and 3 loose platinum prints, Edition: 35 numbered copies, 18 x 14 in, Handcrafted in New England.


Jamie Baldridge -The Everywhere Chronicles, Photographs and short story by Jamie Baldridge, Afterword by John Wood, Edition: 17 Deluxe copies numbered 1 – 17 and 33 copies numbered 18-50, 12 bound, plus 1 fully signed and free-standing, pigment ink prints, Handcrafted in New England.


Masao Yamamoto -Deluxe Edition, Text and a poem by John Wood, Photographs by Masao Yamamoto, Edition: 42 numbered copies, Two volumes hand-bound in silk, 12 bound platinum prints and 3 loose silver gelatin prints, 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 in, Handcrafted in New England.


The Book of Life: Photographs by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Poems by Morri Creech, Introduction by John Wood, Essay by Lance Speer, Edition: 75 numbered and 6 lettered copies, 10 bound, plus 1 fully signed and free-standing, platinum prints, 16 x 20 in, Handcrafted in New England.


Cracked: The Art of Charles Grogg, Poems by John Wood, Edition: 38 copies, 10 signed bound platinum prints on Gampi Torinoko handmade paper, 3 loose, 20 x 24 in. signed platinum “Reconstructions” on Gampi Torinoko Mammoth, upright, 20 x 21 1/2 in, Handcrafted in New England.

The majority of the photographic prints are hand-coated platinum and palladium prints while the balance is made up of silver-gelatin, photogravure, kallitype, cyanotype, and pigment-ink prints. The bindings are uncompromisingly rich and varied. Photographers include Imogen Cunningham, Flor Garduño, Jerry Uelsmann, Herman Leonard, Michael Kenna, Sally Mann, Jack SpencerRobert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Masao Yamamoto, Charles Grogg and many others.


21st Editions started in 1998 as 21ST: The Journal of Contemporary Photography. The original mission of the press was to broaden the dialogue of contemporary fine art photography by bringing together the widest variety of photographic work with the finest international writers, poets, and essayists. The six volumes of the Journal published between 1998 and 2002 represent an astonishing survey of artistic visions and literary voices, revealing current thoughts on photography from a unique range of critical, intellectual, and historical points of view.

Following the critical acclaim received as early as 1999 -The Wall Street Journal, the press expanded its offerings in 2000 to include fine press, handmade monographs on the work of various photographers to serve as a complement to its Journal anthologies. Each of these hand-crafted monographs are illustrated with original signed photographs. They incorporate new writing by the artists themselves, leading contemporary historians, critics, poets, novelists, and philosophers. 21ST Editions has also published the works of such classic writers as Pindar, Han Shan, Shakespeare, Blake, Baudelaire, Whitman, Apollinaire, Rilke, and others, including contemporary poets.

Flora & Fauna

June 26, 2014 Comments Off


Anne Siems, Saratoga Tree60 X 60 on Panel, “Anne Siems: Flora and Fauna -Exhibition of New Work” is on view at Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, Texas, 9 August – 30 August, 2014. Siems is German born and now lives in Seattle. Her figurative work has typically been influenced by the landscape of her youth. However, for this show, Siems explores what she now calls home -the Pacific Northwest. Exploring a deeper connection with nature, through visual translucency and metaphor, she creates portraits of human characters that celebrate the joys of nature’s mysteries in relationship with old growth in the area.


Anne Siems, Grandmother (Lord Hill), 60 X 60 on Panel, These trees, shaman-like and each with their own almost mystical ecosystem, seem to speak to the timeless realm of dreams, psyche, and spirit as well as life and death just as her figures do. Focusing the figures costumes to that of the 1850’s, a time when the area was most heavily settled, was extremely important to Siems. Her ongoing love and homage to the European Masters, Early American Folk Art and vintage photography remain evident in this exploration and celebration of our spiritual connection to the world we inhabit.

For more on Anne Siems and her work see previous post Healing Magic

Think Dirty Shop Clean

June 24, 2014 Comments Off

The average man and woman uses between 6-12 beauty products a day, but all too often the ingredients inside these items remain a mystery. Because the cosmetics industry isn’t required to list all components on their labels, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for transparency, or ever finding out the full list of what we are actually putting on our skin routinely -until now.


 Enter the Think Dirty App. Think Dirty is an unbiased product-comparison mobile application for personal and skincare products created by Lily Tse -daughter of a breast-cancer survivor, who used her family history as inspiration for its creation. Tse partnered with charities like Breast Cancer Fund and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, who are champions in connecting the dots between prevention and exposure to chemicals in our everyday environments.


The free app lists over 130,000 products, and more are being suggested by Think Dirty’s 100,000 users each day. You can search the product list by name or simply scan the barcode using your mobile device. Think Dirty will then present you with a list of ingredients, each with a rating of 0-10 (10 being the worst), as well as an overall product grade.


An objective rating system gives you easy to understand information on the products, and an overview of the health impacts associated with a product and its ingredients, including long-term effects -clear science at a glance. To help you to choose products that won’t sacrifice your health for the sake beauty.


If the product has unhealthy chemicals, the app will also suggest similar beauty products that contain healthier and non toxic ingredients. Users can connect the app to social media, share items, and save products to their virtual bathroom shelf, which also gets an overall grade, and archive Dirty and Clean lists.


There is no government standard for safety, and laws do not regulate the use of words like “Natural” and “Organic” on cosmetics and personal care products, and with only 10 chemicals banned in the US -whereas Canada has banned just over 600 and The European Union Health Commission over 1300, Think Dirty was designed to empower and educate consumers, as well as help them to make more informed decisions when purchasing products. Ideally, it will help us all to ‘Think Dirty, Shop Clean.’ Available from iTunes.

Organic Beauties

June 22, 2014 Comments Off

Curated Summer Loves


Pippa Small Fair Trade Gold Leaf Bracelet from the Bolivian Collection, 18K Fair Trade Gold, Inspired by the jungles of the Yungus, on the slopes of the Andes where the Cotopata mine is situated, the Bolivian Ethical Gold Collection features twisting tendrils, exotic flowers and leaves, birds and bells that echo the joyful sound of tropical rain falling on large, wet wide leaves. Pippa Small is a couture jewelery designer and anthropologist residing in the U.K whose work is embedded in different cultures from all over the world -such as the San Bushman of the Kalahari, the Batwa Pygmies of Rwanda, and the Kuna in Panama, helping them to research their traditional designs to generate self-sufficiency and income, create a re-found respect for traditional materials, and pride in their creations. She is well-known for designs that encapsulate a hand-made organic feel -featuring precious and semi precious stones, as she is for her social consciousness. Small believes the art of jewelery making can enhance life and help alleviate poverty and protect precious traditions, helping to grow the confidence of craftspeople around the world and reverse the tradition of exploitation associated with the gem industry over the centuries.


Massimo Alba Olive Carol Tunic Dress, 100 % Linen, Massimo Alba had been artfully designing clothes since the mid-1980’s before founding his eponymous brand in 2006. Based in Milan, Massimo Alba creates collections that are characterised by casual Italian elegance. The go-to label for understated pieces cut from sumptuously soft fabrics and dyed with natural, chemical-free pigments that are hypoallergenic. Each garment is hand-made in Italian workshops to the finest specifications. The collections include beautifully crafted cashmere knits given a vintage patina through overdyeing techniques, polos and popovers are made from easygoing linens and cotton blends, and tailoring and outerwear has a loose, unstructured feel that belies the fine-tuned craftsmanship. “There is a lot of construction inside, a lot of little details,” Alba explains of his slightly unkempt aesthetic. “I want there to be something special, but not too perfect.” An effortless linen ensemble -adding a skinny belt, scarf, and sandals, that will take you effortlessly through this season and into the next.


Aftelier Perfumes Silver Antique Pocket Watch in Rose & Green Gold, Rose and Green Gold decorations on both sides of this antiqued watch case. Rose Gold banner and flowers with Green Gold leaves on both sides of the case. One side has an engraved church and Rose Gold cartouche and the other side has an engraved house. This rare one-of-a-kind watch case is 1.5 inches diameter, can be worn on a chain, and holds 1/4 oz. (7.5 ml) solid perfume of your choice from Aftelier PerfumesAftelier is the Berkeley-based indie perfume house of Mandy Aftel, one of the early adherents of artisanal natural perfumery and the original founder of the Natural Perfumers Guild. Aftel creates each fragrance in small batches by hand in her Berkeley, California studio. Her perfumes and products contain only the purest, most sublime botanical essences from around the world. She works with awe and passion for the alchemy that transforms these rare, gorgeous individual natural essences into a beautiful perfume. Indulge yourself in authentic luxury.


RMS Beauty Lip & Skin Balm, Each ingredient in this award-winning and skin rejuvenating formula has been carefully selected for its ancient healing abilities. Superior active ingredients support natural skin functions, giving skin a visibly healthier appearance. Organic Coconut oil, considered the healthiest oil on earth for its high levels of lauric acid, offers antibacterial properties. While Beeswax locks in moisture and helps restore elasticity. Argan oil yields amazing skin benefits including sun protection, healing scars and high levels of Vitamin E that neutralize signs of aging. Use regularly to protect, repair and hydrate skin while noticing fine lines soften as skin grows smoother. The New York based RMS Beauty line is about more than simply using organic ingredients. RMS Beauty breaks away from the pack of natural cosmetics with products formulated using raw, food grade and organic ingredients in their natural state, allowing their healing attributes to rejuvenate the skin. In their purest form these nutritious properties remain fully intact, encouraging amazing potential for anti-aging effects. Each ingredient in RMS Beauty is carefully chosen to create a dialogue with the skin. Your touch activates the life force of the product, and nutrients interact with skin to promote hydration, softness, and luminosity.


Dr.Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint, A gentle, translucent tone that livens up your complexion with a gorgeous glow as it hydrates and conditions. Its skin-enhancing liquid features a blend of Witch Hazel and Anthyllis to refine and purify while soothing inflammation. Mixes with any Dr. Hauschka facial moisturizer. Also effective when blended with sunscreens. A soothing combination of mineral pigments, plant extracts and oils. Dr.Hauschka Skin Care products are infused with vital extracts of organic and biodynamically grown plants. Their products carry these plant essences directly to the skin to encourage health and reveal true and lasting beauty. A deep commitment to holistic principles guides Dr.Hauschka to reject the use of synthetic additives and animal testing. They support the health of humanity and the earth. Using a holistic approach to skin care that keeps the big picture in mind, they create products designed to be used as part of a healthy lifestyle to reconnect us with our natural rhythms. Certified Natural Cosmetic BDIH. Made in Germany.


Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Fruit & Seed Oil Blend, Pai Rosehip BioRegenerat Oil uses concentrated fruit Rosehip oil with twice the regenerative sterols and five times the caretonoids of Seed oil. A blend that delivers Trans-Retinoic Acid directly to the epidermis, which converts to Vitamin A to boost the skin’s natural healing process. Pai Rosehip Oil contains a 100% natural Vitamin E -from sunflower, that reduces the photo-aging effects of UVA light on the skin. It has the dual antioxidant benefit of keeping the oil fresh and in optimum condition. Volcanically sourced CO2 is used to gently extract the oils while preserving the complete properties of the plant. Unlike cold pressing it eliminates all germs and prevents oxidization of the oil. With daily use, Rosehip oil conditions the skin, improving skin firmness, elasticity and suppleness, while reducing hyperpigmentation and sun damage. The holy grail miracle worker face oil of the organic skin care industry. Pai is a London skin care company with a premium organic range of sensitive skin care products. Pai Skincare’s Founder Sarah Brown’s goal was to create the cleanest plant-based skin care on the market, with a range of products formulated for people with very sensitive skin. Today Pai manufacturers all of its products in their own manufacturing and distribution base in West London.


JUARA Rice Facial Cleanser, Juara Rice Facial Cleanser is a foaming, sulfate and soap-free gentle rinse-off cleanser. Known for its soothing and softening properties, Rice starch helps prevent moisture loss by enhancing the skin’s protective barrier. Rich in amino acids and proteins naturally found in Rice, this cleanser evokes the ritual of a Rice water rinse, traditional in Indonesia. Juara -based on the JAMU tradition which is an ancient herbal medicinal tradition, was founded by friends with Indonesian roots who sought to bring back the traditions of the past by creating products that fuse the active botanicals of Indonesian herbal recipes with Western science to create products that represent the best of both, the east and west. Indonesia, home to 30,000 of the world’s 40,000 types of tropical flora and fauna, is well-known for its unique mixtures of botanicals and extracts. Secret recipes passed down through generations since as early as 800 A.D. were finally given over for scientific study in the early 1940s, with surprising discoveries. The healing and pampering benefits of the natural Indonesian compounds out-performed their chemically formulated western counterparts by a great deal. Utilizing active botanicals such as Rice, Tamarind, Turmeric, Candlenut oil, healing Teas and Red Sandalwood, JUARA combines time-honored recipes for skin health and well-being with the best in modern technology and innovation to deliver efficacious and elegant treatments of the highest quality.


In Fiore Vitale Toning Floral Essence, Refreshing, stimulating, healing, toning and oxygenating, this certified organic aloe-based blend of 14 synergistic herbal infusions and essential oils is suitable for all skin types. The antidote to hypersensitivity. Spray liberally on face, neck and chest. Aloe vera, the “Silent Healer,” delivers vital herbs and essential oils directly to skin. With its high water content and 75 different constituents, aloe vera includes vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, phenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, amino acids, and salicylic acid. Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and hastens wound healing by enhancing cell proliferation while breaking down and digesting dead tissue. In Fiore, a Beauty Pioneer. Perfumery as Medicine. The spirit of In Fiore was inspired by ancient bathing rituals -one of daily life’s simplest yet most significant cleansing practices. San Francisco based In Fiore was the very first luxury beauty care line blended only with pure oils and the finest floral absolutes. The scent of true jasmine sparked the idea -a fragrance so pure and clean, almost primordial in its unadulterated form. It remains at the heart of the In Fiore signature. Celebrating the elemental appeal of raw florals and herbs, fashion veteran Julie Elliott established In Fiore to promote the centuries-old wisdom surrounding their dramatic health benefits. She remains the intuitive creatrix behind every handcrafted formula and blend.


ERBE Chamomile & Calendula Eye Contour Cream, This soothing and deeply hydrating moisturizer reduces fine lines and irritations around eyes. It helps to minimize under eye circles and restore a healthy and luminous appearance. Recommended for all skin types, ideal for sensitive, day and night treatment. ERBE Skin Care, is an exclusive natural line made in Italy, that employs the active principles of organic botanical blends, based on the studies of 16th-century Italian herbalists, physicians and monks that have been enhanced over the centuries. Their comprehensive range of products for the face, body and hair was originally available only in pharmacies and botanical shops in Italy, where each item was custom-blended to order. Today, the ERBE collection is made possible by the rigorous selection of the highest-quality plants and herbs, gathered only in their “balsamic time” -the limited period when the plants are at the peak of their therapeutic virtues. These ingredients are then blended in small batches using a combination of ancient natural and modern scientific techniques, resulting in highly effective yet safe and gentle treatments that promote healing and enhance beauty.


Live Live & Organic Bee Yummy Skin Food, Best kept secret in the natural skin care world, this edible, hand-made Live Live signature product is real food for skin, and can be used as a moisturizer or rejuvenative and nutritive cream. Superior for healing numerous skin conditions. As a cosmetic cream Bee Yummy nourishes your skin with at least 27 minerals, 22 amino acids, 105 live enzymes & co-enzymes, hormones, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and pigments. Within minutes of application your skin will absorb as many as 80 nutrients contained in Honey, over 96 nutrients contained in Bee Pollen, as well as hormones, enzymes, antioxidants, and antibacterial & anti inflammatory elements present in Propolis and Royal Jelly -to speed up healing of wounds, burns, sunburns and bruises. Bee Yummy skin Cream is made from Wildflower Honey, Honey Cappings, Bee Pollen, Propolis, St. John’s Wort Oil, Royal Jelly, Purified Water, and Balsam Fir Needles as fragrance -hand harvested in a small wilderness area with it’s own micro climate & made by the same colony of bees from a small apiary, which accounts for energetic harmony and synergy of the cream. Honey is collected from the wildflowers, is unfiltered -just dripped from the comb, and contains the cappings of the hive with their precious, mysterious substances. Pollen, depending on season, is from a mixture of Wild Dandelion, Wild Roses, Raspberries, Asparagus, Goldenrod, Wild Apples, and Cherry Tree blossoms. Propolis is from high quality Poplar and Fir trees. No preservatives are needed because Honey, Propolis, and Balsam Fir are nature’s best preservatives and antibiotics. Honey is the only food on earth that will keep forever, and so will this cream. Live Live & Organic is located in New York and embraced as the best store for raw, organic, live & vegetarian health products.


Pratima Brahmi Nourishing Hair Oil, This excellent deep conditioning treatment is great for dry hair and parched treated hair. You only need a small amount to nourish the hair and strengthen follicles -in a formulation free of artificial scents, colors, and GMOs. Brahmi and anti-oxidant rich Amla along with organic essentials oils of Jasmine and Lavender help reduce dryness of the scalp, while restoring shine and manageability. Handmade by an Ayurvedic physician, botanist, and chemist, Pratima skincare transforms the ancient properties of Ayurveda into modern prescriptions for skin. Organic, cruelty-free ingredients are blended according to tridosha theory, a belief that the body is made up of three doshas: dry Vata skin, combination Pitta skin, and oily Kapha skin. These potent blends, alongside offerings suitable for any complexion, deliver specialized formulas that visibly improve skin immunity and balance. From performing healing mantras during the creation of each formula, guaranteeing only sattvic ingredients, and packaging her blends in 100% recyclable glass, Dr. Pratima Raichur values Ayurvedic traditions in every detail.


Laurel Whole Plant Organics Sun: Before & After Body Oil, An ideal moisturizer for all skin types. Every single ingredient in this product has been clinically studied or used historically for its sun damage prevention, or sun damage repair attributes. The oil features Avocado, Red Raspberry Seed and Coconut oils for their rich texture, rich vitamin and mineral content, and their connection to reflecting the sun’s rays. Rosehip Oil and Sea Buckthorn are also stand outs in this formula, raising the Vitamin C and Vitamin E content drastically of this blend; both antioxidants prevent potential free radical damage caused by the sun. Organic and therapeutic grade essential oils of Carrot Seed, Sandalwood, Helichrysum, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Neroli, and Frankincense are chosen specifically for their relationship to sun protection and sun repair; and combined they smell bright and joyous -perfect for summer sunshine. This product includes a housemade gem essence blend, specific to the feeling of “Summer,” to inspire light, truth, and joy. Note: This product is made specifically for purists who want an alternative to Zinc, and for those who have a healthy relationship with the sun. Laurel Whole Plant Organics -formerly Sequoia Beauty, is a Northern California flower and herb based skincare line with a philosophy that the most effective skin care is raw, organic, farm sourced, handcrafted and made with love. Many of Laurel’s organic and therapeutic grade essential oils are chosen to reflect on the beautiful scents of California.


Jiva-Apoha Atman Spirit Oil, For calming, grounding & purifying, All Natural Sesame & Sunflower oils, 100% Pure Essential Frankincense, Sandalwood, Tulsi (Holy Basil), Palo Santo (Holy Wood) & Neroli oils. Five precious essences comprise Atman, culminating in the scent of profound stillness. Fresh, deeply verdant and woody with a delicate hint of Anise, Atman restores equilibrium while healing and softening the skin. Perfect to enjoy while mentally preparing for the day ahead, or for a few minutes of peaceful respite before bedtime. This is your secret place in the forest, hand-crafted and bottled just for you. “Jiva-Apoha” is Sanskrit for Soul-Healing. It’s where India meets Native American Wisdom and Ancient Medicine Man meets Modern Day Souls. From its signature oils to one-on-one sessions, Brooklyn based Jiva-Apoha is the first to combine the powerful healing practices of Ayurveda and Shamanism. Both of which have been around, relied upon, and healing people for thousands of years.

Embracing The Landscape

June 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

“I want to make images that have open, narrative qualities, enough to suggest ideas about human limits. I want there to be a combination of the past juxtaposed with the modern. I use nature to symbolize the search, saving a tree, watering the earth. In this fabricated world, strange clouds of smog float by; there are holes in the sky. These mythic images mirror our world, where nature is domesticated, controlled, and destroyed.” ~Robert ParkeHarrison


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison Exhibition View at Slete Gallery at Obsolete, Venice, CA, 2014.

The Architest’s Brother is a traveling exhibition and photographic series in 9 parts: Early Works | Industrialscapes | Promisedland | Earth Elegies | Kingdom | Passage | Sentinels | Burn Season | Procession, on view now through July 2014, at the Slete Gallery at Obsolete in Venice, California. Obsolete -my favorite artful home design & curio boutique gallery, allows you to enjoy both art and antiques. The owner of Obsolete, Ray Azoulay, thoughtfully curates his store with unique furniture and art hand selected from around the world, and focuses on Western Europe antiques that date between the 18th and 20th centuries.


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison Exhibition View at Slete Gallery at Obsolete, Venice, CA, 2014.

A well-curated cabinet of curiosities, the store consists of small vignettes, with each one better than the next. Each vignette seems to have its own story and emotional appeal. A brilliant space, certainly the place to find a one-of-a-kind treasure. Take a journey through time with a bit of nostalgia with works from Paolo Ventura, Tricia Cline, Anne Siems, and Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison.


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Tree Stories, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.

Working as artistic collaborators for the Architect’s Brother, the couple portrays our environmentally shattering world in starkly poetic monochromatic photographs. These photographs are not simply taken, rather they are fabricated by the artists using photomontage and painting techniques. Each of the resulting images is metaphorical. They feature Robert ParkeHarrison as an “Everyman” performing various tasks in symbolic attempts to save our planet.

“None of the images are real in the factual sense, but they are treated as precious talismans of a lost moment, a documented super-reality, whose message, like that of all myth, transcends the small realities of the day to day world.” ~Robert ParkeHarrison


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Suspension, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Windwriting, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.

The artists started the Architect’s Brother series while they were in graduate school in New Mexico. It evolved over a twelve-year period -dating from 1993-2005. The landscape and culture impacted their ideas dramatically, witnessing the stark difference between consumer culture/military machine and the thoughtful, caring culture of the Native Americans. In New Mexico, their preoccupation with the triangular relationship of humans, technology and nature developed.

 “Many of the images are ambivalent, touching on both darkness and light, making a clear decision impossible. The figure seems melancholy, engaged in strange almost hopeless acts. But he persists, carrying on a quest intended to heal or repair a desolate world.” ~Marc Ruby


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Kingdom, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.

The ParkeHarrisons’ did not follow in the well-practiced wake of environmentally charged photojournalists or social documentary photographers, instead, conjured a destiny in which humankind’s overuse of the land had led to environments spent and abandoned, with the exception of one indefatigable spirit -portrayed by ParkeHarrison himself. Donning the ill-fitting suit of the Everyman, ParkeHarrison is the earthbound relation to the Creator -the Architect’s Brother, complete with human shortcomings. He is the romantic anti-hero, taking up tasks of preservation that appear futile, yet also lay the foundation for the potential redemption of the natural world. Placing himself within the images, ParkeHarrison attempts to patch holes in the sky, construct rain-making machines, take dictation from the trees and the wind, and chase storms to create electricity.


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Skyscrapers, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.

Creating a genre unique within the photography world, the ParkeHarrisons construct fantasies in the guise of environmental performances for their Everyman -a man dressed in a black suit and starched white shirt- who interacts with the earths landscape. Tapping into their surreal imagination, the artists combine elaborate sets (which can take months to construct) and an impeccable sense of wit and irony, to address issues about the earth and mankind’s responsibility to heal the damage we have done to its landscape. A visual improvisation that unfolds choreographically, mastering the ability to seemingly manipulate reality in a theatrically melancholic way, providing powerful impact both visually and viscerally. The attempts by their besuited character to mend the world are dauntingly clumsy and yet poignant, poetic, and beautiful. Which, as it turns out, is also an exact description of the human condition.


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Tree Sonata, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.

 “We create works in response to the ever-bleakening relationship linking humans, technology, and nature. These works feature an ambiguous narrative that offers insight into the dilemma posed by science and technology’s failed promise to fix our problems, provide explanations, and furnish certainty pertaining to the human condition. Strange scenes of hybridizing forces, swarming elements, and bleeding overabundance portray Nature unleashed by technology and the human hand.” ~Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, The Guardian, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Listening To Earth, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.

By using traditional methods in contemporary ways, they create images that distance themselves from the typical qualities of photographs. They merge multiple images through an adapted form of the paper negative process which allows them to collage various images into one image. It is a lengthy process that requires a back and forth process from paper negatives, paper positives, drawing and contact printing. Once a final image is completed then it’s mounted and painted. This painting process consists of many layers of washes -applying pigment by hand. This further distances the final image from qualities of photography. For them, the photograph is really not complete until it is painted. The color intensity is enhanced through the layering of colors. It becomes three-dimensional. Thus it has depth -amplifying meaning, metaphor, and message.


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Earth Elegis, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.


Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Reclamation, Gelatin Silver Print w/Acrylic Gels and Varnish, Courtesy and © Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison.


Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, The Architect’s Brother, Hardcover, Monograph of the traveling exhibition published by Twin Palms Twelve Trees Press in 2000 with a second edition in 2002.


Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison have been collaborating for years in creating artistic photographs. In addition to the traveling exhibition of the Architect’s Brother, their work has been displayed in 18 solo exhibitions and over 30 group shows presented worldwide in places such as Japan, Canada, Ireland and Italy. Work by the ParkeHarrisons is in numerous private and public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the George Eastman House. They received a Guggenheim Fellow in 1999, an Artist Grant in Photography from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2001 and 1996, and in 2008, they received the Nancy Graves Foundation Grant.

Both Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison have college degrees in Fine Arts. After completing his bachelor’s in Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico, Robert ParkeHarrison obtained a Masters in Fine Arts at the Kansas City Art Institute, and Shana received a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Williams Woods College. Currently, the ParkeHarrisons reside in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, near the College of the Holy Cross, where Robert teaches photography. They also lecture extensively on art and human influences on the environment.

Father Earth Love

June 8, 2014 Comments Off

That little something. Not just anything -something beautiful and well made- something to covet. Not because he can’t live without it, but because life would be just a little bit nicer with it. Celebrate the great man.


Lou Zeldis Jasper Arrowhead, With serrated edges set in 22K Gold on a braided cotton cord. Jasper enables one to be more present in the physical body and conscious of Nature and one’s surroundings. A strong believer in the transcendent energy of objects, the late Lou Zeldis centered found natural objects at the heart of his work -pebbles, carved wood, raw precious stones, shells, seagrass, and river rock all make appearances in his one of a kind collectors’ items. Lou Zeldis jewelry is handmade in Bali. Available from Love Adorned. A fine jewelry and lifestyle store in New York, from veteran retailer Lori Leven housing a curated inventory informed by years of traveling and collecting. Focusing on vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces and artisanal goods, Love Adorned is a shift away from throwaway culture that values utility, aesthetics and craftsmanship.


Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Evergreen Essential Oil Air Nutrition, Certified organic Fir Needle Oil elevates the mind and grounds the body. Its crisp, fresh balsamic aroma transports your senses to the center of an Evergreen forest helping to relieve stress and tension while providing restorative properties. Spray or diffuse to refresh & purify personal environment. Intelligent Nutrients -founded by the late Horst Rechelbacher, is based on the philosophy that everything we put in our bodies must be nutritious and safe, a line of cosmetics that holds its beauty products to the same standards to which we hold our food: to nourish our bodies and stave off disease. As a result, these all natural, USDA-certified, organic, and 100% food-based products utilize plant stem cells to release anti-aging and restorative natural life forces directly onto the skin in their rawest form -pure food for your skin.


Aftelier Ancient Resins Body Oil & Hair ElixirAncient Resins was created for the legendary Leonard Cohen by Mandy Aftel. With an uncompromising sex appeal, the captivating oil features a very generous amount of organic Frankincense, paired beautifully with Balm of Gilead. Completing this fragrance are other resins that have been treasured since ancient times for their spiritual and healing properties: Benzoin, Elemi, and Labdanum -impressing with their earthy boldness. This deep, rich, sumptuous, balsamic fragrance is in a luxurious and non-greasy base of organic Jojoba and fractionated Coconut Oil, which leaves a subtle veil on the skin and mixes beautifully with your own body chemistry. As a hair elixir, apply a small amount to clean, towel-dried hair, from mid-length to ends, to nourish hair and give it extra luster. Aftelier is the Berkeley-based indie perfume house of Mandy Aftel, one of the early adherents of artisanal natural perfumery and the original founder of the Natural Perfumers Guild. Aftel originally became interested in perfume while researching material for a novel. She is the author of several books on perfumery, including Essence & Alchemy, Scents & Sensibility and Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, and a co-authored book with chef Daniel Patterson, Aroma: The Magic of Essential Oils in Food and Fragrance, which pioneered the use of essential oils in cooking.


PATCH NYC Owl Candle, In this vintage-inspired and crafted by hand soy, artisan scented candle, Sandalwood, Tobacco and Vetiver are combined to create a fragrance as elusive and wise as the night owl. This deliciously earthy scent is from PATH NYC’s first candle collection created in collaboration with Soap & Paper Factory. Made from 100% pure soy with a 72 hour burn time. Each handcrafted candle stirs the spirit of your space with a perfectly preserved memory, a moment, a vision of the past. A distinct candle that is beautifully packaged and ready for gift giving. Made in the U.S.A. PATCH NYC is a lifestyle studio creating original art and designing collections of home decor and fashion accessories. The PATCH NYC collection can be found in specialty stores worldwide and in the PATCH NYC shop located in Boston, Massachusetts.


Steven Alan Beach Blanket, for the beach, the park, the car, your living room, or just to have around, this colorful striped woven 100 % linen blanket is large enough (60″ x 84″) to really spread out yet lightweight and easy to tote. Steven Alan is an American designer with a unique brand of casual, smart, self-assured, heritage-inspired, curated essentials for both men and women that reaches a global audience. His Collections are sold in over 300 stores worldwide, including imogene + willie -a concept store in Nashville, Tennessee, owned by Matt & Carrie Eddmenson, synonymous with high-end high-quality denim and the ability to accommodate those on the quest for the perfect jean.


Kaufmann Mercantile Handmade Leather & Solid Brass Tool Box, This beautiful looking toolbox was made exclusively for Kaufmann Mercantile -a New York based online store for carefully selected, long-lasting, and well-designed goods. They also write and commission a library of essays on the history of materials, various how-tos, and Q&A’s with artists and designers. This vegetable tanned leather bag has been dyed, finished and waxed by hand, then shaped with handset solid brass rivets. The leather handle at the top pivots for carrying and stowing with ease, and the interior holds a standard hammer, pliers, wrench and a full set of screwdrivers. Two solid brass fasteners at the front keep your tools neatly and securely within the toolbox. An intrepid traveler, Andrew McAteer found that the available bags, carriers and accessories on the market didn’t properly suit his on-the-go gear requirements, so he began to design and make his own goods. Working out of a small workshop in Astoria, New York, Andrew creates products that he needs and, by extension, that others might also find useful.


Great Escapes Arounf The World Vol. 11, Hardcover, 9.4 x 11.9 in., 672 pages, The second installment of Angelika Taschen’s round-up of the world’s most exceptional hotels and retreats is packed with awe-inspiring photos and descriptions of the world’s greatest getaways. Highlights include a California inn where Liberace would have felt right at home, and shabby-chic bungalows on Highway 1 in Big Sur. Choose from luxurious residences nestled on the Ubud hillside overlooking the Ayung River in Bali, or oceanside bungalows on a Brazilian archipelago. Go camping in “royal style” in the Indian desert, or opt for a luxury tented camp on an island in the best game-viewing location in Botswana. Relax in a hand-woven banda on Zanzibar, a hotel-museum full of contemporary art on the Sicilian coast, or a sumptuous Provençal spa retreat in the south of France. Visual food for thought for vacation planning via the armchair. Available from Taschen -Publishers of Art, Anthropology and Aphrodisia.


Globe-Trotter 21″ Carry On Case, Hand-crafted in England, there’s something undeniably old-school about Globe-Trotter luggage. Dark Green vulcanised fibreboard Carry On Case with Brown leather trims, top and side handles, metal feet at side and base, wheels, designer stamped chrome hardware, debossed logo stamp, light blue canvas lining, internal plaque, and two internal straps. The Green & Brown tones of this carry on offer a timeless sense of cool, and since it’s built to last through the years, every bump will tell a story and add to its rugged appeal. English company Globe-Trotter was established in 1897 and remains dedicated to traditional British workmanship to this day. Handcrafted from vulcanised fibreboard and bolstered with carefully sourced leather, this sophisticated carry-on case is a sound investment in classic jet-setting style. Fully lined and complete with internal straps to keep your possessions in place, this wheeled piece is ideal for the debonair traveller.

Berluti Love

June 6, 2014 Comments Off


Berluti Paris Lookbook 2014 with Berluti For Victoire Cycles Handcrafted Bicycle CoverBerluti -Italian footwear masters with iconic bespoke Parisian heritage, recently worked with Victoire Cylces to produce a custom handmade bike with a matching set of leather accessories. To complete the look, Berluti offers made-to-measure basket straps and a detachable bike bag to go along, and the House also unveiled a sports edition of its iconic Alessandro shoe -a classic Berluti, coming in two shades of Vitello Amazon leather, a shoe that elegantly fits the ride. The unique cycle crafted in France features wooden wheel rims with leather detailing on the handlebars, seat, and toe clips. The bike uses age-old French techniques of fillet-brazing the steel tubes -a technique that is highly laborious and time-consuming, but yields the cleanest look possible on a bicycle. The ultimate ride for the modern urban gentleman, a unique tribute to the historical connections between the House and the world of sports. Available now on special order at the brand boutiques.


Berluti For Victoire Cycles & Ready-To-Wear Spring/Summer 2014 Ad Campaign, The collaboration was inspired by the aesthetics of the “porters”, bicycle used by delivery-men at the beginning of the last century. A small manufacture based in Clermont-Ferrand, Victoire Cylces is an incarnation of the French bicycle-making savoir-faire. Crafting the perfect rides for the most demanding of clients. Known within the cycling circles, Victoire Cycles was a 2011 brainchild of four cycling enthusiast friends that soon became a full-fledged business, earning a reputation for excellence. Combining French expertise with traditional craftmanship, the workshop with cutting-edge techniques produces bespoke cycles according to customer specifications -therein lies the unique fit with Berluti.


Bespoke Footwear in the Window of Berluti’s Flagship Paris Shop on Rue de Sèvres, Berluti, a Fashion house founded in 1895 in Paris and under the LVMH umbrella since 1993. Excellent craftsmanship and an uncompromising commitment to artisanal quality with exquisite sartorial taste, have carried the Berluti name throughout ages and generations. In 2011, Berluti hired Alessandro Sartori as Artistic Director, who for years had been Creative Director at Z Zegna, to expand the heritage footwear maker with a full ultra-luxe ready-to-wear line. Berluti has ably managed the transition from smallish high-end footwear specialist to growing ready-to-wear line, largely by keeping exclusivity at the core of its mission. The pinnacle of Berluti’s new identity as a full-service luxury label is the bespoke service, called “Grand Mesure” -the most experienced tailors handcrafting suits and sportswear customised to the needs of customers but infused with the story and unique experiences of the artisans. Though the program is based in the Rue de Sèvres shop, clients of Berluti stores in a few other cities can request the service, and a tailor from Paris will be flown in. The brand already does this with its bespoke footwear.


The Berluti Les Beaux Jours City Bag from the Collection Venezia -a range of beautifully treated leather bags. The brand now offers its loyal clientele a select line of bags, invented by Olga Berluti, to choose from. With names like L’Avventura, Here and ThereDouble Je, Journaliste, and Les Beaux Jours, the leather bags evoke images of travel. The Berluti Les Beaux Jours City Bag brings restraint and sophistication to the casual men’s leather scene, with a dash of hipster-inspired individuality for good measure. The look is classic luxury -refined, polished, and structured -beautiful then, now and forever. Berluti Love.

Good Morning Blend

June 3, 2014 Comments Off


This is a basic, delicious and nutritious green juice, and for good reason. The base is celery, which is a little known nutritional powerhouse. It’s loaded with potassium, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and essential amino acids. On top of all that, it’s one of the most alkalinizing things you can put in your body. To the celery, I add kale, spinach, green apple, parsley, lime, lemon and ginger, creating an extremely potent, detoxifying drink. Incorporating tons of greens and plant-based foods into your diet will really energize you. Feeding yourself live green plants makes you feel more alive! Simple Green Juice Goodness.


1 bunch organic celery
4-5 organic kale leaves
small handful of organic spinach
small handful of organic flat parsley
1 organic green apple
1 lime
1 lemon
1 inch of fresh ginger


Wash all the ingredients. Cut the peel from the lemon, lime & ginger, quarter and core the apple and cut into pieces. Run the ingredients through the juicer, and run any wet pulp back through the juicer. Scrape off the foam. Serve and enjoy!

Here are just a few reasons you should consider drinking raw juice daily: Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from fruits and vegetables. It’s quick, pre-digested energy and nutrients for the body. In other words, your body doesn’t have to work to digest the fiber of the fruits and vegetables, so you’ll get the maximum nutrition, without any waste. It’s satisfying. Since it’s bursting with nutrients and enzymes your body craves, it will keep you satisfied longer. It’s easier than you think. Most people are pleasantly surprised by how easy juicing actually is. Yes, juicers are notoriously labor intensive to clean and they can make quite a mess, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It usually takes about 30 minutes (from start to finish) to make a daily juice and clean the juicer. Just 30 minutes. Once you start, you’ll find that the benefits far outweigh the cost. Here’s a new book from the founders of Pressed Juicery with some great recipe ideas and inspiration for healthy living.


Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing, and Living Well by Carly de Castro, Hedi Gores & Hayden Slater, Hardcover, Published by: Ten Speed Press, Publication Date: July 2014

A lushly illustrated and accessible guide to juicing and juice cleansing, featuring 75 recipes for making organic juices, milks, and other concoctions at home to provide the vital nutrients a healthy body needs to function at an optimal level. In this beautiful full-color health guide and cookbook -which requires only a juicer or blender to use- the founders of Los Angeles-based Pressed Juicery explain how juicing and juice cleansing can be part of a fit and healthy lifestyle. Featuring the shop’s most popular juices -including greens, roots, citrus, fruits, aloe and chlorophyll waters, and signature beverages like Coconut Mint Chip- this inspirational handbook outlines the benefits of juicing, explains how to do a juice cleanse safely, and shares testimonials from people who have experienced personal health transformations after integrating juice into their lives.

The Absorbed Tradition

June 1, 2014 Comments Off

“So much of what we see today is concerned with the face -with celebrity, with the politics of a person and their endorsement, I want to refocus our attention on the most basic elements of what I believe fashion and art are truly concerned with -color, form, texture, and seeing into a space beyond ourselves. For me, fashion is merely another mode to understand our relationship with beauty’s transcendent qualities.” ~Erik Madigan Heck


For Out of Order, Guinevere Van Seenus, Spring/Summer 2014, Photography by Erik Madigan Heck, Courtesy and © Erik Madigan Heck.

An exhibition of 13 new large-scale works by Erik Madigan Heck titled “The Absorbed Tradition” created during the early months of 2014, opens at BOSI Contemporary in New York, 4 June and runs through 14 June, 2014. The images include landscape, portraiture and fashion-based photographs, which highlight the artist’s continuous interest in abstracting and reshaping the history of photography into a new hybrid form, while formally paying homage to the established medium.

Heck says of his painterly images: “It signifies a different direction in my own work, where I am trying to flatten the space between photography and illustration, by eliminating photographic elements and painting on different surfaces and colors in post-production, attempting to move closer towards painting itself, in process and form.”


For Mary Katrantzou Autumn/Winter 2011 for A Magazine + Nomenus Quarterly, Photography by Erik Madigan Heck, Model: Janice at Ford, Courtesy and © Erik Madigan Heck.

In addition to comprising the exhibition, the images are featured in a special issue of CREEM Magazine. Curated and photographed by the artist, the publication has been designed as an art book with two parts. The first section, entitled “Conversations on Photography,” focuses on the artist’s interviews with and portraits of high-profile individuals in the world of photography. Curators, directors, and fellow photographers -including Taryn Simon, Elinor Carucci, Vince Aletti, Susan Bright and Kathy Ryan- are captured in in-depth features alongside their own work.


For Felicity Brown and The End of Spring, Spring/Summer 2011, Photography by Erik Madigan Heck, Courtesy and © Erik Madigan Heck.

The second section of the magazine is composed of Heck’s new works. Images range from portraits of Waris Ahluwalia in Haider Ackermann and Jamie Bochert in Ann Demeulemeester to a 40-page black-and-white book of portraits of Guinevere Van Seenus. The issue concludes with the third installment of the artist’s “Without A Face” series, originally commissioned by and debuted in New York Magazine. Here, it exists as a series of ambiguous “advertisements” made for a selection of fashion designers.


Erik Madigan Heck is a photographer, filmmaker, and writer. He earned his MFA in Photography and Film Related Studies from Parsons School of Design in New York, where he currently lives and works. In 2013 he received an Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography for his work. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, W, and Harper’s Bazaar UK. He is the founder of Nomenus Quarterly and No Photos Please, and is the author of “January to August.” Heck is included in the forthcoming exhibition “Don’t Stop Now: Fashion Photography Next,” opening July 2014 at the Foam Museum in Amsterdam, with an accompanying catalog published by Thames & Hudson.

Leica Anniversary

May 26, 2014 § 1 Comment

Never have I found the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance. Always, I am on the threshold. ~W. Eugene Smith


The Leica M-A and M Monochrom in the M Edition 100 Set with 28/35/50 SummiluxesLeica has announced a special twin pack of cameras to celebrate 100 years as one of the most respected names in photography. The Leica M Edition 100 brings together a purely mechanical rangefinder camera for film photography -the Leica M-A- with a digital Leica M (Leica M Monochrom) in one set. “M” stands for Messsucher -a German term for a combined range/viewfinder, which shows you action outside the actual frame. Both cameras stand as symbols for the origins of Leica photography and the present day. The Leica M-A, with technical specifications based on the currently available Leica MP film camera. Alternatively, the second camera, a Leica M Monochrom, is the contemporary variation of the theme composed a century ago by Oskar Barnack. A set that combines the best of both worlds -analog and digital.


Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 ASPH, This is the first time that stainless steel has been employed for the visible metallic elements of Leica products -a material that Leica says is extremely difficult to work with. The set also includes three premium Leica Summilux-M lenses with focal lengths of 28, 35 and 50 mm and will be supplied in a black anodized aluminium case. Special engraving on the top plate of the body commemorates the centennial, as do the unique serial numbers that end with the four digits of the years between 1914 and 2014. Leica says the sets will be available from Leica stores and boutiques from June 2014, and none of the items contained in the sets will be available as separate items. It’s limited to just 101 sets worldwide, making each one a serious collector’s item for Leica Lovers. So tracking one down will likely be challenging…. than there’s paying for it.


 Berlin II by ONA in Vintage Bourbon, Created to celebrate 100 years of Leica photography, the Berlin II is a limited-edition ONA bag specifically designed for the Leica M-System. The Berlin II is handcrafted with full-grain leather that will develop a rich patina over time. The signature Leica red interior is fully customizable, padded with premium closed-cell foam, and can accommodate one Leica M-System camera, two to three lenses, an iPad and small personal items. The Berlin II also features a zipped organizer pocket, a convenient removable top-grab handle, antique brass buckles, one signature red rivet and a streamlined back pocket. Available early Fall 2014. Beautiful travel bag, as the M-Cameras are ideal partners for travel photographers and photojournalists.

Art Of The Seed

May 24, 2014 § 2 Comments

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the season is by planting a few seeds. When planting your garden this Spring, why not do it with seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. An accessible, affordable source of regionally-adapted seeds that are packaged in gift-quality seed packets -available individually and as seed collections. Each variety of seed packet features original art work that celebrates the beauty and diversity of heirloom gardening. The packets are so cleverly and beautifully designed to unfold like petals of a flower revealing not only the inner seed packet, but planting instructions and artwork, you’ll want to frame these little works of art after you plant the seeds! The Hudson Valley Seed Library helps farmers and gardeners to “understand where seeds come from, how they are grown, who grows them, and why seed saving is more important than ever.”


The Hudson Valley Seeds Library offers heirloom and open-pollinated seeds for vegetable, flower, and herb varieties. Many of these seeds are produced on their own small farm; the rest they source from other local farmers, farmers in other regions, and from trustworthy wholesale seed houses that are not owned by or affiliated with multi-national biotech companies. They have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, and adhere to Vandana Shiva’s Declaration of Seed Freedom. As of May 2013, they are both a Certified Organic farm and a Certified Organic Handler.


Hudson Valley Seed Catalog 2014, A full seed catalog for all gardeners offering hardy, affordable seeds that are rooted in the history and soils of New York, where you will find only the finest rare and unique Organic, Non-GMO seeds. Just browsing the catalog is such a pleasure, reading about all the vegetable, flower & herb varieties including their backstory, their cultural significance, with an artful graphic that accompanies the actual seeds.

The Hudson Valley Seed Library was started by Doug Muller and Ken Greene, two young farmers with a dream of creating an accessible and affordable source of regionally-adapted seeds that is maintained by a community of caring gardeners. They sell seeds grown on the seed library’s farm and by other local farmers and gardeners, but they also encourage people to save their own seed and share it. If you pay $20 to become a member of the seed library, you get discounts on seed packets and events and 10 packets of seed of your choice. And members who save seeds, can return them to the seed library in exchange for a discount on the following season’s membership fee. If you’re a novice seed saver, no worries. The seed library offers classes, workshops, and information on seed saving. There is a full online catalog where anyone -member or not- can purchase seeds. Such a brilliant idea. Would be great if the concept caught on across the country -a seed of an idea in bloom!


Tom Thumb Pea Hudson Valley Seed Library, Heirloom seeds are distinguished from modern hybrids by replicating themselves faithfully. Thus, if you save the seeds of an heirloom tomato or melon (or a radish or lettuce left to seed) one year, you can grow it the next. No one owns the seed, so it can be passed freely among gardeners. Such open access to a crop is the antithesis of the agribusiness biotech profit model, and heirloom seed saving is tied in to the local food movement and all its attendant aspects: environmental sustainability, food security and social justice.


New England Pie Pumpkin, Fox Cherry Tomato, and Painted Daisy Hudson Valley Seed Library, “Growing seed is the farming behind the farming,” Greene said. “Most gardeners don’t see the whole life cycle of the plant because you’re interrupting it to eat the fruit when it’s the most delicious. This is a much more intimate view of the plant’s life cycle.” As the text inside the seed packet notes, it’s a tribute to “the celebration of life and death which plays out in our gardens every year.” And in our lives, too.


Velvet Queen Sunflower Hudson Valley Seed Library, The seeds themselves have their own stories to tell. Many represent stories of struggle and displacement -a single variety of bean or flower for example, say, that has been passed down through the generations of one family. The genetic diversity it represents may hang by a thread or stand tall and endure as a hardy perennial.


The Art Pack Collection Hudson Valley Seed Library, The Hudson Valley Seed Library celebrates the genetic diversity of heirloom varieties by commissioning diverse art works, in diverse media, to put on their seed packets. Each year they issue a public call for art, and choose about twenty applicants to design and produce a unique work for a new variety. The newest Art Pack Collection, features 24 artists, using mediums including: Raku Pottery, Scratchboard, Etching, Collage, Stained Glass, Paper Cutting, Wood Sculpture, Watercolor, Embroidery, Ceramic, Linocut, and more. The artwork has become an event of its own, an annual exhibit called “The Art of The Heirloom,” was featured at The Philadelphia Flower Show, and this past March was on display at the Horticultural Society of New York.

The Hudson Valley Seed Library artists come mainly from the Northeast; many are avid gardeners. A selection of the original art they commission printed in limited edition, is also available. Each is signed and numbered by the artist. This includes Art Packs that are created with work done by Hudson Valley artists. “This is a way for us to say that arts are a part of everything,” Ken Greene says, “and to find our own way of supporting artists and including them in what we’re doing so other people can see some of the ways in which art is important in terms of culture.” He sees art as a way to convey the story of the seeds, but make it contemporary. “I love plants, I love art, I love education and I love thinking I’m making a difference,” he said. “So it’s kind of everything I’m passionate about wrapped up into one entity.” He adds, “I had no idea I would end up with such an amazing art collection when I decided I would be a seed farmer.”


Kaleidoscope Carrot Hudson Valley Seed Library, Artwork by Martha Lewis, Printed on Forestry Stewardship Council-certified recycled paper using vegetable-based inks, each Art Pack’s petal-like flaps “bloom” to reveal a sealed glassine envelope filled with seeds, along with sowing instructions printed neatly on the label. New Yorkers can buy the Seeds & Art Packs locally,Whole Foods carries them, as do places like ABC Carpet & Home -a personal favorite. Visit Hudson Valley Seed Library to find a store in your area to purchase in person -sold in over 200 locations.


Ken Greene started the Seed Library in 2004 while working as a Librarian at the Gardiner Public Library in Gardiner, New York. Having developed a strong interest in preserving heirloom seed varieties, he decided to add them to the library catalog so that patrons could “check them out,” grow them in their home gardens, and then “return” saved seed at the end of the season. The program was a small but successful endeavor -one of the first of its kind in the country. After four years of running the program at the library, Ken and his partner Doug decided to turn the library into a mission-driven, homestead-based small business -which it still is today.

The heart of the Seed Library is a small seed sanctuary farm in Accord, New York, located in the scenic Rondout Valley between the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Ridge. Here, they cultivate about three acres of production and trial gardens, and produce hundreds of pounds of seed each year, learn about new varieties that they may like to offer in their catalog, and undertake breeding projects in the traditional methods of plant breeders. They have only ever used organic practices on the farm, and it became Certified Organic in May, 2013. They hold several events each year when the public is invited to tour the grounds.