A Buddhist Brunch

October 19, 2014 Comments Off

When you feel like your body is craving something nutritious and comforting, slow cooking a healthy pot of dal is ideal. A little goes a long way, best to prepare dal ahead of time, and keep it stored for lunches, or a satisfying Buddhist Brunch.


A healthy dish of digestion-promoting dal possesses a high amount of anti-inflammatory and natural antioxidant properties with ingredients like garlic & ginger to help reduce muscle soreness, chili powder to increase your metabolic rate, turmeric embodying anti-cancer properties, and fenugreek, which is said to have the ability to regulate our blood-sugar response, and ‘Masoor dal’ in particular, is very good for improving blood circulation in the body. Sweet, nutty flavor and plenty of spice and texture to savor. Nutritious & delicious!


Chop a cucumber, some red onion and coriander or mint very finely and toss together with a few squeezes of lemon and a dash of salt and pepper, for a quick Cucumber Salsa -the perfect cool accompaniment to the heat of the dal. Serve your Bangla Dal and Seeni Sambol with a micro-green salad, the cucumber salsa, gluten-free millet flat bread and wedges of fresh limes. Absolute comfort food!



  • 1 cup masoor dal, washed & drained
  • 5 cups of hot water
  • 1 heaped Tbsp of tamarind pulp, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or 2 Tbsp each vegetable oil & mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1/2 tsp sea or pink salt
  • Lime wedges
  • 1/2 cup coriander sprigs (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the dal and water and bring to a boil. Skim off the foam for the first few minutes of boiling, then lower the heat to medium and simmer for twenty minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the tamarind pulp in a small bowl. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the water from the pan of dal. Add it to the tamarind pulp, and stir well; then set aside for several minutes to soak.
  3. Place a fine strainer over a small bowl and press the tamarind through the strainer. Discard the pulp; set the tamarind liquid aside.
  4. Partially cover the dal and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook until its completely soft and soupy, 10 to 15 minutes. Keep warm over a low heat.
  5. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the coriander, cumin and cayenne and stir-fry for until fragrant (about 15 seconds) and then add turmeric, garlic, and onions and stir-fry until the onions are very soft and tender. Add the reserved tamarind liquid to the dal, add the onion mixture and stir well. Add salt to taste.


Masoor dal is an important part of the diet in many parts of the world, especially in the Indian Subcontinent, which has a large vegetarian population. It is basically split lentil without skin and is red in colour. It does not need soaking prior to cooking as it is a soft dal and cooks quickly. When cooked, Masoor dal turns a soft golden colour and has a pleasant earthy flavour. With 26 percent protein, these lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any plant-based food after soybeans and hemp.



  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 3 cups of thinly sliced red onions or shallots
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of minced ginger
  • 8 fresh curry leaves
  • 4 to 8 dried red chilies, stemmed & broken into pieces
  • 1 tsp of Maldive fish or bonito flakes, ground (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp of ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup fresh organic coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp of organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of sea or pink salt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, or to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When it’s hot add the onions or shallots, the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring until golden brown.
  2. Lower the heat, add the curry leaves, dried chilies, bonito flakes, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and coconut milk. Bring to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the sambol is not sticking.
  3. Remove from heat, add sugar, salt and lime juice, and stir well. Transfer to a food processor and process to a smooth puree.
  4. Transfer to a jar and let cool. Seal lid tightly and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for a month or more if kept refrigerated.


This recipe makes a relatively large quantity; store it in a glass jar in the refrigerator and bring it out as condiment with any meal. Put it out in a small bowl with a serving spoon so guests can dollop a little on the side of their plates.

Recipe adapted from one of my favourite culinary books: Mangoes and Curry Leaves, by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid.

Mangoes_Curry_BookMangoes and Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent, by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid, Hardcover, 416 pgs, 2005.

Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid travel west from Southeast Asia to that vast landmass the colonial British called the Indian Subcontinent. It includes not just India, but extends north to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal and as far south as Sri Lanka, the island nation so devastated by the recent tsunami. For people who love food and cooking, this vast region is a source of infinite variety and eye-opening flavors. Home cooks discover the Tibetan-influenced food of Nepal, the Southeast Asian tastes of Sri Lanka, the central Asian clay-oven breads of the northwest frontier, the vegetarian cooking of the Hindus of southern India and of the Jain people of Gujarat.

It was just twenty years ago that cooks began to understand the relationships between the multifaceted cuisines of the Mediterranean; now we can begin to do the same with the foods of the Subcontinent. Their stories, along with their breathtakingly diverse photographs of places, people and food, allow us to experience with them one of the most visually stunning places on earth. Their recipes are tailored for the North American home cook to experience authenticity, for every occasion.

Design Path

October 17, 2014 Comments Off

“Subversive, ethical, ecological, political, fun: this is how I see my duty as a creator.Philippe Starck

Designers Philippe Starck + Riko realize first prototype of their custom eco-prefab house, that in Starck’s mind, represents the modern living ideal. The house fits the philosophy and the ethic of the designer,”But it is not an architectural work. It’s completely understated from my side. It’s very humble and just made with the best engineering and the best technology.” says Starck -the French designer who has become widely known since the start of his career in the 1980’s for his interior, product, industrial and architectural design work.


Starck + Riko prototype for PATH (Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes) which sits on the outskirts of Paris, doubles as the designer’s own home. With its façade of glass and aluminium, the 350 sq m two-storey home reveals no sacrifice of form to function, with fluted cornice that conceals the rooftop ‘factory’.

First launched in 2013 after years of technological development and collaboration, French designer Philippe Starck and Slovenian wooden prefab building company Riko released their customizable Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes (PATH) to the global market just this month. The first PATH prototype (above) was recently realized in Montfort, France, and features rooftop energy-producing technologies, co-developed by French companies DualSun and IRFTS, consisting of 58 photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar panels, wind turbines, rainwater recovery and heating pumps. As France works towards its 2020 thermal regulation goal to have all new buildings possess positive energy status, Starck + Riko’s prefab homes are packed with theses high eco-technological systems to allow the homes to produce more energy than they consume.


 Starck + Riko prototype for PATH (Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes) Interior, Monfort, France. The all-over spruce interior panelling, which Riko claims produces 40 percent less waste during manufacturing, has the appeal of a Starck-style lodge.

Perhaps the most interesting, if not highly marketable, feature of these prefab homes is the variety of mix-and-match design options that cater to homeowners’ individual needs and aesthetic preferences. For starters, PATH includes 4 models: two single-story residential homes, one double-story house, and a family of supplementary units intended as a garage or garden studio. While this is the deluxe option, each PATH energy system will be determined by need; the entire concept, in fact, is highly adaptable with myriad customisable features such as combinations of glass and/or wooden structures along with several styles of roofs. Adding to that, homeowners can pick from 34 different floor plans with 1 to 8 bedrooms. Interior finishes and fixtures can also be customized. Another point that Starck + Riko highlight with PATH is the accessibility and affordability of their homes. Prices range from €2,500 to €4,500 per square meter depending on the client’s choices. Once a house is ordered, the designers state it will take less than 6 months to deliver the turnkey house to the owners.


Philippe Starck has a mission and a vision: creation, whatever shape it takes, must make life better for the largest number of people possible. His anticipatory concern for environmental implications, his profound comprehension of contemporary mutations, his enthusiasm for imagining new lifestyles, his determination to change the world, his devotion to a positive reduction, his love of ideas, and his desire to defend the intelligence of usefulness, have accompanied one iconic creation after the other. From everyday products such as furniture and lemon squeezers, to revolutionary mega-yachts, micro wind turbines, electric cars, and hotels that aspire to be vibrant places, Starck never ceases to push the boundaries and criteria of contemporary design. 

Art Of Man

October 14, 2014 Comments Off

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Animation by artist Steve Cutts created in Flash and After Effects looking at man’s relationship with the natural world. Steve Cutts is an illustrator and animator working in London, whose thought-provoking work lends an important message about our interaction with, and exploitation of, the environment. Showing the impact of humanity’s misguided anthropocentric perspective, resulting in unreasonable growth and progress that is destroying the ecological foundations of life on Earth. Good planets are hard to come by, don’t blow it!

World Of Interiors

October 9, 2014 Comments Off


The New York home décor of Vogue international editor at large, Hamish Bowles, is featured in the November 2014 issue of World of Interiors. Bowles, world-renowned for his keen aesthetic and vast personal collections -from antiques to couture he’s amassed over the decades trawling the globe, is the European Editor for Vogue and one of the most respected authorities on the worlds of fashion and interior design. He writes feature and fashion stories for all parts of the magazine as well as overseeing the lifestyle and interior design features, and acts as Vogues’ liaison to the European fashion markets.


In the library of Hamish Bowles’ Manhattan apartment, decorated by friends Roberto Peregalli and Laura Sartori Rimini, protégés of the Italian design master Lorenzo Mongiardinothe, the marmalade Sister Parish tufted sofa, after a design by Syrie Maugham, and the amethyst William IV settee -found at Christie’s New York, are both upholstered in silk velvet, custom-dyed by Studio Peregalli -the masters of making interiors look brilliantly timeworn, buttato lì. Photography by Simon Upton. Covered with pediment-topped bookcases crammed with works carefully organized into biographies, fashion and decorating. “We were going for something Proustian,” says Hamish. It has a wonderfully collected look, as most pieces were lovingly acquired during Hamish’s travels, each antique with its own back story, plays an integral part in the creation of timelessness throughout the interiors. Assolutamente meraviglioso!


Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People Hardcover, 12.9 x 9.8 x 1.8 in, by Hamish Bowles (Introduction), Calvin Klein (Foreword), October 30, 2007.

Like Studio Peregalli interiors, some books are classics and never go out of style. Two such examples are The Invention of the Past: Interior Design and Architecture of Studio Peregalli, and Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People by Hamish Bowles. Lavishly illustrated in full color, Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People is a voyage through style-makers’ private realms around the world. A book that takes you into exquisite rooms and gorgeous gardens from 36 unique homes, captured by such celebrated photographers as Miles Aldridge, Cecil Beaton, Jonathan Becker, Eric Boman, Oberto Gili, François Halard, Horst P. Horst, Annie Leibovitz, Sheila Metzner, Mario Testino, Tim Walker, and Bruce Weber, among many others. Bringing to life interiors and exteriors, modern and classical, that are both inspiring and transporting. Writers Hamish Bowles, Joan Juliet Buck, Dodie Kazanjian, Eve MacSweeney, Julia Reed, Marina Rust, and Vicki Woods take us behind the scenes to give us an intimate view of the owners and how they live, at all points of the décor spectrum.


The Invention of the Past: Interior Design and Architecture of Studio Peregalli Hardcover, 9-3/4 x 12 in, by Laura Sartori Rimini (Author), Roberto Peregalli (Author), Hamish Bowles (Foreword) October 11, 2011.

The Milan-based interior design and architectural firm Studio Peregalli presents their breathtaking environments that capture the classic elegance of the past. Partners Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli have a distinctive ability to work in virtually every historical style-from Renaissance to Victorian-to create interiors that are atmospheric and magical, conjuring up a real or imagined past.
The Invention of the Past profiles the firm’s domestic and public projects, including residences for such leading families as the Etros and the Zegnas. Organized by house elements-facades, libraries, dining rooms, bedrooms, and other spaces-the book focuses on their opulent and whimsical furnishings and old-world craftsmanship. Studio Peregalli juxtaposes authentic works of a particular period with replicated pieces to create an illusion that becomes something real and evocative. The book features beautiful color photographs of their oeuvre, along with reproductions of drawings, maquettes, and plaster models.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

October 5, 2014 Comments Off


I am sure everyone has their own favorite Apple Crisp recipe or memory. I first tried this one, in similar variations, courtesy of Alfalfa’s Market cafe in Boulder Colorado -while I was in grad school. Love at first taste. A perennial favorite then, with crisp apples and a mix of seasonal berries or rhubarb. Now I really enjoy the flavor combination of tart fresh cranberry with apple. Suits the season. Such a simple, wholesome dessert to create, and so delicious to eat.


Vegan Apple Cranberry Crisp, Using fresh Fall ingredients, this is a great October treat to bake when the apples are ready to pick, and the weather gets a little cooler outside. I love how the whole house fills with the sweet aromas of apple, vanilla, and spice. Warms the soul. Using this season’s organic apples, hand-picked from the orchard, just makes the whole thing that much sweeter.


For the filling:

  • 3-4 lbs. organic apples
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or water
  • 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

For the topping:

  • 1 cup organic rolled oats
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nut oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt


Preheat oven to 350. Peel, core, and slice apples into 3/4 inch chunks. Dissolve arrowroot in apple cider or water, set aside. Place apples and cranberries in a mixing bowl. Add spices and mix. Pour into a baking dish. Pour arrowroot mixture over the apples. To prepare the topping, mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, add macadamia nut oil, coconut milk, and vanilla. Mix well until the consistency is crumbly. Crumble topping over the apples, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve alone or with your choice of yogurt or coconut cream.

Mind & Life Symposium

October 4, 2014 Comments Off


The International Symposium for Contemplative Studies will take place 30 October – 2 November, 2014, in Boston, MA. This gathering is convened by the Mind & Life Institute and will be the second biennial symposium. The interdisciplinary meeting will examine new ideas in overlapping fields of contemplative study with the goal of advancing our understanding of the human mind, and how mental training through contemplative practices can lead to reduced suffering, enhanced health and cognitive-emotional functioning, greater happiness, and increased social harmony. Keynote Speakers include: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Richard Davidson, David Germano, Arianna Huffington, Amishi Jha, Tania Singer, and Diana Chapman Walsh. With Master Lectures, Contemplative Teachers & Artists including: Richard Freeman, Roshi Joan Halifax, Jon Kabit-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg, and Greg Dunn, including more than 175 sessions covering groundbreaking research. Neuroscience, clinical science, philosophy, the humanities, contemplative education, economics, medicine, and much more -all under one roof. Great minds, great ideas, great research!


For the past 30 years, the Mind & Life Institute has pioneered the field of contemplative science. In pairing the oldest wisdom traditions with cutting-edge scientific research, contemplative science uncovers groundbreaking and holistic insights into the human mind and condition. Mind and Life’s work operates in an array of rigorous fields -neuroscience, psychology, education, medicine, ethics, religion, the humanities, and is always guided by the Institute’s larger mandate to alleviate suffering, cultivate kindness and compassion, and advance human flourishing. The Institute has affiliates including notable scientists, and Buddhist practitioners, the most distinguished of which is Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama.

Emptiness The Sky

October 1, 2014 Comments Off

“Knock on the sky and listen to the sound.” ~Zen Saying

A collection of new work titled ‘Kisetsu’ (Seasons) from Japanese/Russian/American metalsmith Miya Ando, will be on view in a solo exhibition in New York 16 October – 15 November, 2014, at Sundaram Tagore Gallery. A space devoted to examining the exchange of ideas between Western and non-Western cultures, encouraging spiritual, social and aesthetic dialogues.


Miya AndoKu (Emptiness/The Sky) Faint Pink, 48 x 48 in, Pigment & Lacquer on Aluminum, 2014, Courtesy Sundaram Tagore Gallery © Miya Ando.

 Ando, a descendant of Bizen sword makers, was raised among Buddhist priests in a temple in Okayama, Japan. Combining traditional techniques of her ancestry with modern industrial technology, she skillfully transforms sheets of metal into ephemeral, abstract paintings infused with color and spirit. The foundation of Miya Ando’s practice is the transformation of surfaces -a luminous, artful alchemy. She applies heat, sandpaper, grinders, acids, patinas and dyes to metal canvases, altering the material’s chemical properties to produce refined, light-reflective gradations of color and texture. Ando’s goal is to create a relationship between her industrial materials and the natural world. “I’m interested in elemental and material transformations, so I look to materials that can show a duality. Hard metal becomes ethereal and reflects light differently throughout the day, or becomes something that captures changing light, as in the sky,” she says. “The paintings are about finding harmony and balance.”


Miya AndoSabi (Rust) 48 x 48 in, Patina & Pigment on Steel, 2013, Courtesy Sundaram Tagore Gallery © Miya Ando.

For her pieces, Ando uses subtle gradations of form and color that capture moments in time -to explore impermanence. For example hundreds of cascading Bodhi leaves change from green to yellow to orange and finally brown, alluding to ‘momiji-gari,’ the Japanese tradition of traveling to scenic areas to view Autumn leaves. Although it’s considered a secular event, there’s a spiritual element, as viewers are reminded that all things are transitory and it’s these transformations, cyclical and otherwise, that mark time. “I love the idea that these paintings are forever -that they will continue to absorb and emit light for eternity” she says. Using her signature visual vocabulary, the resulting works subtly evoke transcendent, minimalist landscapes, offering a quiet space for contemplation.


Miya Ando has a BA in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and attended Yale University to study Buddhist iconography and imagery. She apprenticed with the master metalsmith Hattori Studio in Japan, followed by a residency at Northern California’s Public Art Academy in 2009. She is the recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2012, and her work has been included in recent shows at the Guggenheim Museum and the Queens Museum, New York. Ando has produced numerous public commissions, most notably a thirty-foot-tall commemorative sculpture in London built from World Trade Center steel to mark the anniversary of 9/11. She lives and works in New York.

Seasonal Beauty

September 28, 2014 Comments Off

As the season transitions from the warmth of Summer to the splendor of Fall and the onset of cooler temperatures, your Summer beauty essentials are no longer relevant, and it’s time to prepare for the necessary adjustment -the inevitable moisture loss skin & hair will suffer due to changes in weather and interior environments. These are a few essentials from my tried-and-true Fall skincare routine to help make the transition, beautifully. The best in eco beauty care that will protect & nourish, and keep you feeling & looking your best throughout the season.


Suki Moisture-Rich Cleansing Lotion, Moisture-Rich Brightening Mask & Nourishing Facial Oil, A moisture-rich pure hydration collection that delivers immediate and lasting results, smells divine, and truly awakens a radiant complexion. Formulated to holistically, and deeply nourish the skin by striking the perfect moisture-balance. The foundational ingredient for Suki’s hydrous products isn’t water, but rather a vitamin & antioxidant-packed, high potency Rose concentrate made to exacting standards for deep derma penetration -a botanical ‘tincture’ which integrates all of their remedies. The award-winning, North Hampton Massachusetts-based Suki advocates the importance of their core philosophy ‘know your beauty’ -to define beauty on your own terms, and to have the right to transparent information from the brands we buy. With its potent botanical concentration and innovations in the science and safety of each active component, Suki’s 100% synthetic-free products are proven to work without exposing our bodies to toxic chemicals, in keeping with their mission to deliver skin care formulas that enable balance and harmony, for beautiful skin. Suki Love!


Dr. Hauschka Eye Balm, Lip Balm & Translucent Make-up, Hauschka’s enriched, emollient botanical balms with ingredients such as Carrot, Calendula, Camellia, St. John’s Wort, Anthyllis, Apricot Kernel, and Jojoba & Wheat Germ Oils, intensely soothe, nurture, protect, and moisturize the delicate skin of the eyes and lips. While the gentle liquid foundation uses mineral pigments, plant extract oils, and Rose wax to enhance and perfect the skin naturally, for a flawless look. Dedicated to the mission “to support the healing of humanity and the earth,” Dr. Hauschka products are 100 % natural and certified by NATRUE -an international non-profit that sets rigorous industry standards for organic and natural cosmetics. As a leader in the industry, Dr. Hauschka recognized the importance of holistic skin care and the quintessential phrase “Study rhythm. Rhythm carries life” -which translates throughout the skincare line and Signature Treatments. The belief that products should enhance your skin’s natural cycles. Dr.Hauschka’s formulas contain high quality, ethically harvested and biodynamically grown botanicals thoroughly researched and blended to work with specific skin conditions for optimal efficacy, designed to nurture the skin and foster natural beauty and well-being.


Intelligent Nutrients Lip Delivery Antioxidant Gloss in Cranberry Glow, A perfectly sheer, USDA certified organic gluten-free lip-gloss with an easy brush-on applicator, combining powerful colorful antioxidant chemistry and nutritious food ingredients with a high ‘Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ‘(antioxidant) ORAC value. Every ingredient chosen to keep your lips healthy and hydrated, power-packed with Intelligent Nutrients’ signature Antioxidant Intellimune Seed Oil Complex to help battle oxidative stress and aid in fighting premature aging. A natural wonder. It not only tastes good, it’s good for you! Intelligent Nutrients, a certified organic health and beauty brand created by renowned environmentalist Horst Rechelbacher offers multifunctional aromatics, skin, body and lip care, proprietary Intellimune nutraceutical supplements and the latest in plant stem cell science. Made from nutritious, non-toxic, purely potent and high performing plant and food certified organic ingredients.


Tata Harper Daily Bliss Natural Aromatherapy Travel Kit, This three-piece travel-size collection of 100% natural aromatherapy treatments is your ticket to inner bliss through seasonal transitions! An exclusive collection of natural essential oil blends, each formulated to deliver immediate relaxation and restorative benefits to the mind, body and spirit. Choose from Stress, Irritability and Bedtime to address various concerns that may arise daily, and enjoy the balancing and healing benefits each treatment offers. Tip: Apply aromatherapy to pulse points on wrists & rub some in the center of palms, then rub hands together to heat up the aromatic molecules, and cup hands over nose & mouth and take 5-8 deep breathes to really fill the lungs. Changes everything! Tata Harper luxury skincare is 100% non-toxic, natural, and made from the most intelligent nutrients sourced from around the world -ensuring high-performance results that don’t compromise individual health. Every step of this organic process -from the creation of innovative formulas to the production of recyclable packaging, takes place on the 1,200-acre Tata Harper farm in Vermont where many of the ingredients are grown. The result is a line of eco-friendly products that promote natural beauty that is committed to safety, honesty, and sustainability.


Davines MOMO Moisturizing Revitalizing Creme Conditioner, A hair mask with essential extracts that work in synergy maximizing their hydrating, protecting and shine-enhancing action to revitalize dry, dehydrated hair. Milk Thistle Oil, Panthenol and Jojoba Oil moisturize, protect and soften while adding shine without weighing hair down. A seasonal must-have! Tip: Make a ritual of starting with MOMO Moisturizing Shampoo followed by MOMO Moisturizing Conditioner, then wrap hair in a warm towel and leave on for 30 mins, once a week for truly amazing results. Davines founded by the Bollati family in Parma Italy, began as a research lab for high-end hair and skin care before moving into the salon industry. The Davines hair care philosophy and focus has always been on crafting quality products that are scientifically engineered to express the Italian ideals of beauty and harmony that are both contemporary and timeless -that beauty lies in nature and the beauty of the human spirit. In creating beauty products to benefit more than just your hair, incorporating high-grade natural ingredients, and sustainable packaging made from renewable energy sources.


Caudalie Divine Oil, This luxurious dry oil moisturizes, nourishes and enhances the body and hair, thanks to its unique formula made with exceptional blend of oils -Grape, Hibiscus, Sesame & Argan, combined with Caudalie’s patented anti-oxidant polyphenols. It envelops the skin with a subtle, floral fragrance with woody notes. Truly Divine! A unique, scented alchemy of four extremely fine and evanescent vegetable oils is ideal for skin, hair and nails, and makes baths and massages positively exquisite. Caudalie is a France-based husband and wife skincare team that developed the world’s first luxury vinotherapy skin care line to use stabilized grape seed polyphenols. Caudalie prides itself on using every aspect of the grape, from the seeds to the vine, to create products that heal, refresh, and renew skin. Support the Coeur de Fôret Association by getting hooked on Divine Oil. Caudalie is committed to planting one tree for every bottle sold. Since 2012, Caudalie has planted over 350,000 trees. Love The Trees!

Autumn Always

September 23, 2014 Comments Off

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”~Albert Camus

We all have our favorite season, and my personal favorite is the Fall. I love everything about Autumn. Always. It’s a special time of year that ignites wonder, sentiment, and nostalgia. The crisp, chill air, morning mist on the ground, brilliant Red Maple Trees, the tastes of Fall; ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, caramel, apple cider & homemade pie, the spirit of Autumn; Holly & Sage, the backyard harvest & making preserves, the sound of crunching leaves under foot, hillsides of foliage turning a kaleidoscope of colors. Fall marks a time of magnificent landscape changes in many parts of North America. Enjoy the season!


Dante LividiniCatnip from the Wisetrees series, Illustration, Courtesy and © Dante Lividini 2014.

Forests play a prominent role in many folktales and legends. In these dark, mysterious places, heroes can lose their way, face unexpected challenges, and stumble on hidden secrets. Part of the age-old magic of forests lies in the ideas that people have had about trees. In myths and legends from around the world, trees appear as ladders between worlds, as sources of life and wisdom, and as the physical forms of supernatural beings -nature spirits were thought to inhabit trees and forests. The mythology of early India, preserved in texts called the Upanishads, includes a cosmic tree called ‘Asvattha.’ It is the living universe, an aspect of ‘Brahman,’ the World Spirit. This cosmic tree reverses the usual order. Its roots are in the sky, and its branches grow downward to cover the earth.


Dante Lividini, Mother Nature from the Wisetrees series, Illustration, Courtesy and © Dante Lividini 2014.

Dante Lividini is a New England-based illustrator, graphic novelist and 3-D animation artist whose work, constructed with considerable imaginative care, invites a mythological journey. With a Master’s Degree in Literature from New York University, and a background in teaching, Dante cleverly weaves the art of storytelling of all that is mysterious and miraculous in the natural world throughout his work, infusing it with meaning, depth, and metaphor.


Dante Lividini, Starsewn, a Graphic Novel featuring the Woggli, Illustration, Courtesy and © Dante Lividini 2014.

Dante’s evocative Wisetree’s, graphic novels Starsewn, Medusa and Evolve, are all deeply rooted in Nature and Myth. Prompting a rare kind of empathy towards his subjects, thoughtful connections between Rustic Gods & Nature Spirits, Half-Humans & Heroes, Biosphere & Biophilia, Trees & Time, and the realms above and below human experience, blossom. We discover an unfolding meditation on those existential dilemmas that surround us all, and a world of its own in the making. Resonating otherwordliness and sublime beauty. Visit Dante’s Portfolio and Behance to see more of the artist’s work.

Art Of The Textile

September 20, 2014 Comments Off

Artists entering the design market to collaborate -a growing trend within the interior design world, producing designs that look to the future while simultaneously taking inspiration from the past, has real staying power. Featuring innovative textures and finishes and manufacturing techniques never seen before, resulting in modern one of a kind hand-crafted pieces. To honor the past, there are recreations of intricate patterns and traditional designs found in the natural world, as well as the resurgence of graphics from the archives of celebrated creative talents of the 20th century, such as Fornasetti. The great impresario of Italian design and wit. And with the growing number of environmentally conscious designers, there’s no need to choose between style and responsibility, as many textiles are being made with sustainably sourced and eco-friendly materials, manufactured with conscientious environmental practices in mind -good for your home and the world at large. These are some of my favorite independent designers & companies creating artful bespoke designs.


Ceramica Bardelli Tuli-Tuli, Tuli-Charme & Tuli-Poni Ceramic Tile Collections by Ronald van der Hilst, Three sets of hand painted tiles available in various decorative themes and dimensions to create an inviting fresco garden interior. Ceramica Bardelli founded in 1962, produces and markets high quality Italian ceramics worldwide. Famous designers, both past and present, such as Giò Ponti, Piero Fornasetti, Tord Boontje, Ruben Toledo, Nigel Coates and many others sign a one-off home decor collection in the world’s most beautiful homes. For Dutch-born artist and landscape designer Ronald van der Hilst the tulip has become a constant theme in his work for the past 10 years. As a passionate flower lover from early age, he was touched by the marvellous history of the tulip of Antwerp. Van der Hilst has designed tulip settings for the historical garden of the Rubens Museum, Museum Plantin Moretus, Castle Den Brandt and the Kalmthout Arboretum.


Cole & Sons Fornasetti I & II Collection Wallpapers, Two iconic and covetable wallpaper collections delivering a Fornasetti repertoire of 30 magical themes, from the distinguished British house of Cole & Son, purveyors of fine hand painted wallpapers since 1875. Today the company retains it’s original spirit; still designing beautiful and innovative collections inspired by their archive -representing all the styles from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Collaborations with contemporary designers combined with the company’s support for hand crafting, ensure Cole & Son continue to produce wallpapers faithful to the brand’s distinguished history. The Fornasetti collection is selected from fine drawings in the archive of Piero Fornasetti (1913-1988), that conjure up Piero’s spirit and genius, while the use of wide width friezes, borders, digital panels and double width papers gives this collection diversity in the ways in which they can be used. The Fornasetti name is one of the most recognizable in the decorative arts today. Once celebrated as one of the most original creative talents of the 20th century, the company’s highly whimsical products are no less engaging or visually captivating as they were when first introduced shortly after World War II in Italy. The legacy and artistry of Fornasetti continues and becomes accessible to that many more consumers.


Clé Limestone Collage & Malachite Tile Collections by Deborah Osburn, Clé features two types of tiles: unique tiles created by impassioned artists & artisan studios and classic tiles designed to form heirloom surfaces. This lovely limestone tile collection was designed by Deborah Osburn, Clé Tile Eboutique founder and creative director. The passion for tile making, along with an affection for art, fashion and design inform her collections, that include the use of masterful hand painting, hi-tech lithography, and experimental forms of hand crafting never seen in the production of tiles. Osburn is always in search of artwork that exemplifies the fine craftsmanship of master painters. She has been searching the globe for a range of designs that offer a modern and exotic base of visuals, so that every stroke of the brush brings to life the perfect imperfections of a hand painted tile. Malachite, a surface that is deep, rich and appealing for its shades of green and its swirls of natural formation, has the makings for a beautiful bespoke wall installation juxtapose wood or concrete.


Trove Wallpapers & Printed Wood Veneer, Founded in New York City, Trove is led by Jee Levin and Randall Buck, who are both accomplished artists and the creative force behind the brand’s ingenious concepts; Trove’s designs push the limits of scale and repeats with unique patterns that are 12 feet high and 3 to 6 feet across. All of Trove’s wallcoverings are printed on commercial-grade paper, using high-quality non-toxic wax-based coatings and archival inks, which have a lifespan of 140 years. Trove’s expertly designed products are eco-friendly and recyclable. Levin and Buck’s work is a clever interpretation of the simple, yet fascinating beauty of our natural environment. Trove also recently introduced a line of printed wood veneer wallcoverings, made from renewable materials. They have that warm glow that comes from wood feel, but without the obvious wood-grain effect that you often get with veneer.


Coral & Tusk Textiles, Founded in 2007 by Stephanie Housley together with her husband Chris Lacinak, Coral & Tusk is inspired by a love of animals, travel and adventure. First enchanted by the natural world during childhood trips to the Eastern seaboard, Stephanie’s frequent travels now span the globe. Magical experiences everywhere from Wyoming to Nepal inform the imagery and humor behind Coral & Tusk’s designs. A RISD-trained textile designer, Stephanie first creates her cheeky scenes and irreverent characters as original pencil drawings before she painstakingly redraws them stitch by stitch using special computer software. Finished by hand in Coral and Tusk’s Brooklyn loft, every machine-embroidered pillow, doll, napkin and artwork retains the story-telling spirit and hand-drawn allure of the original illustration. A mix of smart design, magic and mischief is at the heart of every Coral & Tusk embroidery.


Claire Coles Embroidered Wall Panels, Claire designs and produces embroidered wall panels and couture wallpaper murals for interior designers, architects and private clients. All Claire Coles designs are handcrafted in her London studio, working closely with her clients to produce bespoke works that reflect their vision. Leather, silks and vintage papers are collaged and intricately embroidered to create a range of decorative surface patterns inspired by flora and fauna. Combining a range of textures and materials with the use of stitch, Claire has developed an innovative textile process. Her unique and luxurious embroideries transform walls into works of art. Claire also works in collaboration with luxury brands producing custom-made surface patterns. Clients include: Missoni, Anthroplogie, Paul Smith, Liberty of London and Penguin Publishing, and she has recently launched her collaboration with champagne house Perrier-Jouët.


Jeanette Farrier Hand-Stiched Kanthas, Made from layers of discarded sari joined by simple running stitch which, typically produces a wonderful rippled effect, the uses of Kantha range from utilitarian quilts to exquisitely embroidered heirlooms. Travelling in India at the end of the 1990s, costume designer Jeanette Farrier discovered the magical textiles that the women of West Bengal create from recycled cotton saris. Exponents of the traditional art known as ‘Kantha’, these expert seamstresses fold and stitch the soft cloth into an ultra-fine quilted fabric which is warm, durable and, with its myriad patterns and colours, of great beauty. The ethos behind Jeanette’s work is that just as these wonderful textiles are valued and precious, so are the women: they are paid well and are able to work in their own homes. Today there are two villages outside Kolkata whose livelihood has been transformed through sewing Jeanette Farrier’s Kantha cloth.

Basic Goodness

September 17, 2014 Comments Off


Discover Your Basic Goodness with Pema Chödrön & Dale Asrael, September 26 – 28, 2014, at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Rhinebeck New York. As leaders in teaching meditation and how it applies to everyday life, Pema Chödrön and Dale Asrael are widely known and well-regarded for their insightful, down-to-earth interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism for Western audiences.


Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun and one of the most prominent Buddhist teachers in the West today. A student of Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, she is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey monastery in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Chödrön is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monastacism in the West, as well as continuing her work with Western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. She is the author of numerous books, including When Things Fall Apart; The Places That Scare You; The Wisdom of No Escape; Getting Unstuck; Start Where You Are; Comfortable With Uncertainty; No Time to Lose; Always Maintain a Joyful Mind (lojong teachings); Practicing Peace in Times of War; and Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change.

Dale Asrael is now an acharya (senior teacher) in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, founded by Chögyam Trungpa. She is core faculty at Naropa University, also founded by Trungpa, since 1992, and teaches in the post-graduate Buddhist Studies, Contemplative Education, and Counseling programs, and is an upadhyaya (Buddhist minister). She leads meditation retreats, dathuns, sutrayana seminaries, ngondro instructor trainings, and other programs internationally. In 2011, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the head of the Shambhala lineage, appointed Asrael the dean of meditation instructors.

Ecosattva Action

September 11, 2014 § 2 Comments

Climate change, perhaps the greatest crisis of our civilization, threatens a sustainable environment that can support life on Earth. A short window of opportunity exists to shift this challenge into a radically new way of being and living. To meet this task requires a profound reorientation of our relationship to the earth and its resources, including a move from our fossil fuel economy to renewable energy. Underpinning this shift is a transformation of consciousness from seeing the world as an object to exploit, to knowing and living our profound interconnection with all things.


As part of Earth Care Week, every Sunday from October 5 – November 2, 2014, 12:30 to 2 p.m. EST, the Dharma Teachers International Collaborative and One Earth Sangha will launch a set of five online conversations in the name of “Ecosattva” training with leading Dharma and mindfulness teachers: Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, Ruth King, David Loy, Bonnie Duran, James Baraz, Chas DiCapua, Susie Harrington, Vinny Ferraro, Catherine McGee, Chris Cullen, Anandabodhi, Santacitta, Santussika Bhikkhunis, and others. The series follows the People’s Climate March, September 20-21, 2014, taking place in New York, and a three-month online interactive program beginning ‘Earth Day’ 22 April 2015, scheduled to follow. Offered free to everyone with the invitation to donate, the conversations will be hosted by Dharma teacher Thanissara Weinberg and One Earth Sangha as part of Maestro Conference’s Conversations That Can Change the World.

Here & Elsewhere

September 9, 2014 Comments Off


Kamil Vojnar, Power Makes You Blind, mixed-media on paper, 17 x 17 in, 2013, Courtesy Galerie BMG © Kamil Vojnar.

A new series of work titled “Elsewhere” by the Czechoslovakian born, France-based, mixed media photographer Kamil Vojnar is on view now through 5 October, 2014 at Galerie BMG Woodstock, NY. As a self-taught photographer and painter, Kamil’s unique approach involves multiple layers of imagery using different photographs and textures. Sometimes he layers on canvas creating one-of-a-kind pieces, while others are digitally collaged on fine art paper in small editions. In both instances he varnishes the image with oil and wax, often applying additional oil paint, rendering each piece unique. His work is haunting, erotic, disturbing, tragically beautiful, and intriguingly unresolvable. His technique of multiple printings and re-printings of the same images combined and re-combined through collage, hand painting, and patina, mimics a process of constant interpretation in denial of fixed certainties. With a poetic sensibility and quiet strength, Vojnar’s work eloquently expresses all the sadness, uncertainty, and insurmountability that are hallmarks of our time.

Kiefer Retrospective

September 7, 2014 Comments Off


Anselm Kiefer, The Orders of the Night (Die Orden der Nacht), 1996, Emulsion, acrylic and shellac on canvas, 356 x 463 cm, Seattle Art Museum, gift of Mr. & Mrs. Richard C. Hedreen. Photo: Seattle Art Museum © Anselm Kiefer.

The Royal Academy of Arts will present the first major retrospective of work to be held in the UK by Honorary Royal Academician, Anselm Kiefer, a man described as “a colossus of contemporary art,” 27 September -14 December, 2014. This will be the most significant exhibition of the German artist’s work ever held in the UK, spanning his entire 40 year career to date and unveiling new work created in direct response to the spaces. Kiefer’s extraordinary body of work includes painting, sculpture and monumental installations. Uncompromising in the subject matter he tackles, Kiefer’s work powerfully captures the human experience and draws on history, mythology, literature, philosophy and science. Destined to be full of brave and provocative work, always large in scale, ambitious in scope and astonishing in execution, this exhibition will be a testament to the career of a man driven to confront himself and the audience with the big and complex issues of our world’s past, present and future.

Weekend Racer

September 6, 2014 § 2 Comments


Dutchman Weekend Racer ’68 Porsche 912, South African custom shop Dutchmann recently unveiled their latest master project, a beautifully restored 912 series Porsche. The epitome of legendary style and elegance, with signature design principles that have long linked Porsche with beauty, artistry, technology, and innovation. The fully restored 1968 shell containing Porsche-only elements from a variety of vehicles, purposefully merging contemporary technology with the classic components -the 911/912 modular platform being well-suited for the integration of contemporary Porsche elements, boasts a 1974 engine, 1989 seats, suspension from 1974 and 2013 headlamps, encased in 1968 lenses. A nod to Porsche’s powerful design history. Instant new classic!


Dutchman Weekend Racer ’68 Porsche 912, Custom Porsches seem to be in the middle of a resurgence, and the craftsmen at Dutchmann have done a breathtaking job of restoring this car to its former glory, showcasing Porsche’s place as one of the most iconic automobile manufacturers in the process. The vehicle’s chrome exterior oozes classic style, as if transported straight out of a 1970’s action thriller! No surround sound system. No electric windows. No stability control. No power steering. Luxury at Last. Love. Artfully restrained design, lending visual form and grace to the notion of speed. At Dutchman, each vehicle they build is uniquely conceptualized and custom specified by a design team, pre-sold, and then built by master craftsmen.

Art Of Happiness

September 3, 2014 Comments Off

What happened when Grammy award-winning producer and musician Imogen Heap hiked the Bhutanese Himalayas with The Happiest Place film team -then got her hands on hundreds of hours of sound samples from this remote Buddhist Kingdom? Something beautiful.

 Inspired by her trek through this magical country, with its rich culture and heritage firmly in tow, and their considered steps into the future, Imogen Heap wrote two striking pieces of music for The Happiest Place film score. In this behind-the-scenes clip, Heap explains how the sights and sounds of Bhutan -temple bells, the crackling of fires, the thwick of an archer’s bow, Buddhist monks and nuns chanting, the shoeing of a horse, inspired the creative process. Cycle Song & Climb To Sakteng are from Imogen’s newest album Sparks.

 Secrets from The Happiest Place, Director Ben Henretig, TEDx Stanford, 2014. The talk offers a sneak peak of footage from The Happiest Place film and explores what may be at the heart of Bhutan’s contentment -their strong sense of connection to each other, to the natural world, and to a sense of purpose.

Many know Bhutan as one of the happiest places on earth, as the last Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom and the only country in the world to use ‘Gross National Happiness’ as its primary yardstick for progress. The Happiest Place, tells the story of filmmaker Ben Henretig’s incredible journey to uncover the secret to Bhutan’s happiness. In 2011, Henretig joined a team of four adventure athletes on a quest to cross the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan by foot and bike. The journey gave rise to the feature-length documentary that explores what people in the West can learn from Bhutan’s unique policy of ‘Gross National Happiness’ about living happier, more meaningful lives. With unprecedented access, the film offers a glimpse into a forgotten world that may have hidden within it the key to ‘responsible progress’ in the 21st century. In Bhutan’s rugged mountains and pristine forests, in the smiles of farmers and archers, in the hillside monasteries and ancient fortresses, we see reflected the grace of generations of wisdom. A fragile beauty that is emblematic of all those natural spaces, traditions and cultures around the world that are slowly disappearing in the wake of progress.