Awakening the Senses

No doubt, Spring has arrived. Ready or not.  Slightly resistant of the notion, personally, since as I’ve gotten more mature I embrace fall and winter. But it’s the time to embrace and not hold back. Make way for what wants to enter. Clear the space. Spring is here!  And here we have Wisteria, Italian style.  The color is simply divine. The species is rather invasive. I wanted to begin my post with nature, as always, and thought this was a great way to sum up Spring’s arrival via a shot I took in Italy. Welcome to this journey.

Below we see the unusual cypress trees indicative of the Italian countryside. I love them! When I shoot photos, I just go with my instincts and what captures my eye.

Easter has come and gone, but I spent my time in bed with a flu that I never saw coming. The trip to Italy this month I pretended to be my end-all, be-all. The trip with answers. My salvation.  Enlightenment. Or so I thought. I am on the up from being so far down, hallucinations during the night and all in a numb yet feverish state for more than three nights in a row. In retrospect, I think it was a mind altering drug. Not. I now realize my body shut down. Had no choice but to embrace hiding from the 80+degree days Easter Sunday and Marathon Monday. Simply hiding. Tossing and turning within my deep charcoal linen sheets enveloping me in within this tumultuous turmoil of fever. Thank God for grapefruit juice and blinds. This too, shall pass. I digress.

The Church. It’s Palm Sunday. I am in Florence. For the second trip from our home base of Montecatini- Tuscany. The highlight of my trip to Italy, in all honesty was the serendipitous discovery through the scent. Incense smoke from the cobblestone back streets in Florence, not far from the Santa Maria Train Station, leading my sister and I towards this elegant antique structure. The the overpowering fluid scent moving with intoxicating lure through the air – beckoning a surprise discovery. Here comes the mystery…..Embarking on this beauty and spirituality in this environment.

Palm Sunday 2017 Florence. Love. Heart opening.  The scent of Frankincense filled the Church’s entirety. Oh Bless.

We took part in Palm Sunday Mass, in Latin, like eras gone by in the US. The experience and the authenticity of  church, the nuns, looking like a painting, the architecture. I  was transported to another century. The history was soul grounding. Aren’t the ladies gorgeous?  Their graceful voices filled with melody envelop the entire church. The scene below I captured with my phone  during mass. A no no. But look at them! This scene looks like a painting. Their cloaks so majestic! This Latin mass set the tone of the day trip to Florence for me.

As we left this beautiful scene behind us, we ventured out by foot into the tourist driven scenes around the city of Florence. I placed my eyes and camera to work, seeking new discoveries and nuances along the beaten path. No stone left unturned. Taking nothing for granted. The history and age depicted below from a simple shot of these weathered shutter doors spoke to me of their years of wear and oh, what a beautiful patina tones.

OH the architecture with effortless beauty and stature. I recognized various tones of Ochre sprinkled throughout the country as its signature color. The rustic buildings and terrain lend themselves to these earthy tones.

I never tired of seeing these colors everywhere. The building below is a bit more elaborate than those above, regardless the natural age and beauty took breath away.

Food, Glorious Food

I wish I had a bevy of photos portraying the amazing food we had, but much to my dismay, the food was not that at all. It seems to me that there are more Italian restaurants with better ambiance here in the United States. And you can be sure you will not have to listen to the likes of Joe Cocker or Elton John while dining, as we did there in these very brightly lit rooms. WHAT THE HELL? I say. And no, we were not in tourist areas. We found little places family run, speaking next to no English. No candlelight. Just artificial flowers and ghastly lighting! Crazy!

The pasta was light, certainly delicious, but what’s with the lack of vegetables on every single menu? This  dish below was the best one on the entire trip. Succulent. Fresh wide pasta tubes crawling with seafood. Simply delicious! Not to mention the Tuscan wine we had to accompany our meal. Just a delight!  So wrapping up my trip, I will say that I missed having vegetable options, and am perplexed as to the void of them. Upon my return home, I hightailed it to Russo’s market in Watertown. I was immediately elevated back to a level of sophistication, in-depth produce offerings and fresh pastas unlike I’d ever seen. Alas it IS Spring.

I am totally perplexed as to the absence of all vegetables in Italy. Not in the street, on the menus, no where in sight! Perhaps it was the region we visited. I am not certain, but I do know this – here, they prominently thrive and exist.  I am very grateful and blessed to be a part of this earth here in New England. You serve us well! Spring represents many things, but in the realm of food, as the soil becomes richer and richer in nutrients, the spring bounty awakens. Artichokes and asparagus are the most obvious foods that represent Spring to me. Stuffing artichokes is a ritual I grew up with. It was our holiday food. I celebrate many different holidays with this beautiful vegetable. Slightly complex, but worth every moment. The Romans and Greeks advocated the medicinal and health benefiting  qualities of this thistle.  The high fiber content not to missed either.  The antioxidants and vitamins also offer vitamin C, vitamin K, rich in the B complex not to mention high in potassium. They need some time to prepare, but worth the effort. I love to sautée them after they have been cut in quarters and trimmed, with shallots, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. They are delicious one leaf at a time. The stems are especially hearty and fibrous.

Mushrooms on the other hand are plentiful at Russo’s market. They have so many varieties, and in all honesty- slightly scary to me since I am unfamiliar with many of them. The concept of foraging mushrooms turns me on, but that is not my calling. I’ll leave that to the pros. Radicchio, baby lettuce and fresh asparagus below in major abundance. The bitter deep red leaves of radicchio just taste so good raw, or grilled. Have you ever tried to grill them? They take on a very nutty flavor. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt, pepper and just a dash of balsamic before they hit the heat. I’ll show you a salad I conjured up in celebration of my return from Italy below, using escarole, radicchio, clementine slices and black Moroccan olives.

This salad was so refreshing, especially after the absence of raw vegetables. The colors, textures and  the taste was spot on, balanced and divine. Oh did I mention shaved fennel? I’ve posted the dressing recipe in the past, I believe. Please for pardon the repeat. 4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 2tsp dijon country style mustard, 2 minced cloves garlic, 2/3 cup olive oil drizzled into the mix. Add a small amount of cracked pepper. Voila. Done.

Marilyn Sang ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’

There you have it! Spring has sprung. April. The month of Diamonds. The birthstone for April. Clarity. Purity. Diamonds glistening in the sun, catching the light with grace. The healing properties of this magnificent stone are abundant. Diamonds truly are the symbol of purity. Their white light can help you bring your life into a cohesive whole. They bond relationships bringing love and clarity into a partnership. This stone has been the symbol of wealth for centuries. It is a stone of manifestation, attracting abundance. Diamonds are also well known to impart fearlessness, invincibility and fortitude. Diamonds clear emotional and mental pain, reducing fear and bring about new beginnings. This is a highly creative stone stimulating imagination and inventiveness. Happy Birthday you April babies!  One of my new pieces, AMODINI,  shown below looks like a relic from the Victorian era.  The multi strands of hand cut amethyst stones are wire wrapped making the connection. I’ve attached a locket as the pendant, swinging from a diamond bale which is held by all 5 strands. A halo of diamonds surround the enclosed locket. The circle measures 1.25″ and the necklace is 17″ in length.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend! They simply make you feel good and rich when wearing them. Anywhere on the body!  For some reason, I’m favoring the circular shape, so here are a pair of diamond disc earrings, PRAMA, suspended on 18k gold earwires. These babies are 15mm and ready to order. I have 11mm in stock. Aren’t these dangle and drop earrings gorgeous?

And let me introduce to you a brand new piece featuring a circular Sunburst with a dangling tourmaline in the center. The piece is suspended from black onyx, spinel, lava and olive wood. The only color visible here is the subtle blue tourmaline. It was shot in early morning light against my zinc desk. Soon enough the weather will break and allow me to shoot outdoors once again.

This Diamond Sunburst makes me think about the sun growing higher in the sky, as the season sets in. Summer will be here before we know it. It’s time to embrace the warmth and all of the newly sprouted plants. Our souls are also sprouting. Remember that. We are living creatures with awakening senses. Time to celebrate our renewal!

I hope you enjoyed this blog journey.

Yours in joy,

Dava

 

Clarify Your Mind, Body & Soul

As we all know, January marks the first month in the  year.  How many of you have created intentions to manifest what you have put off or procrastinated this past year? This is the perfect month for new beginnings, excercise, reading that book you have been dying to read, going to a class or workship of some sort that was  challenging in the past or learning to cook something above and beyond your normal scope of recipes. These are inspiring ideas to do. They will help you grow into an even better you! What a great opportunity, this time of year also, to clean out your closet. Edit your wardrobe. Purge. Change your hairstyle, alter your make up techniques! I can help you.  I don’t hold a crystal ball,  although I own plenty, but when you look into crystal quartz, it’s as though your can imagine your new life right in front of your eyes! I have the resources, experience  and all that it takes to help you make this shift. You owe it to your soul, and your heart. Not to mention how this liberating experience will trickle into your life delivering smiles to yourown heart, family and friends once they  both of you experience this liberating shift. A little meditation goes a very long way, so if you’re not certain which aspect of life you wish to shift. Sit quietly. Close your eyes.  Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 10.27.18 AM

As we celebrate this new year, many toasts have been made with more to go. Most importantly, please remember to acknowledge yourself. I think it’s easier for most people to self judge and criticize. Sadly. The results are never positive. Please raise a glass to yourselves! You deserve it. January avails itself for clearing of all sorts. What better time to begin? Now! Let’s make a toast before going on! Im using this stunning stemware collection as a celebratory image of the new year. The CAVA stemware collection is mouth blown,  available in a variety of shapes. We import them exclusively from Japan. They are mouth blown, and available through MATSU. Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 4.51.05 PMcava_imgcava_imgcava_img

Lifting blockages that prevent you from moving ahead, takes a conscious effort. Once you make up your mind, I can help along all of the rest. Promise!  All you need to do is call me, and I’ll be there to assist you in this wonderful transition. I am committed to helping you be the best YOU. The crystals below simply reflect all aspects of the world around you. Staring into them will inspire many things. They may transcend you to another country, into a dream, or even a peaceful state leading up to a refreshing meditation session.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 2.31.18 PMAs I embark upon my life’s journey, I can’t help but notice  the nuances which have brought me to this point. I recognize that what once worked in the past no longer suits today’s desires. The retail climate as I knew it no longer exists, consequently, I strive to deepen my spiritual practice. Yoga, Soul Cycle, designing and working with gemstones certainly are up on top of my list for 2016. The word healing also comes to mind, as I start to submerge myself in different aspects of this, my soul grows richer.  I am studying now for my upcoming exam on the PRIMUS ACTIVATION HEALING TECHNIQUE. Once I complete the exam, I will then be certified to practice this wonderful mind, heart and life altering experience. It has shifted my way of thinking, responding rather than reacting, and a subtle sense of inner peace now softly hums inside my soul.  The Primus Activation Healing modality is a way to return to this natural state of wellness at the same time that it activates our physical and spiritual bodies for the next phase of human evolution that we now are entering. This is based on a series of meditative and hands on techniques that cause the electromagnetic field of the body (the aura) to resonate with specific energy frequencies that create measurable physical effects and powerful spiritual awakening. Resonance with these frequencies used to be a natural state for human beings, but recent shifts in energetics and lifestyle have caused a crisis of misalignment with these energies. Sounds very scientific… that’s what I thought in my class, but having practiced and been practiced on, last weekend, I was hooked. As I mentioned before, my state seems to seriously have shifted as a result of entering into this newly learned paradigm. My goal is to begin practice once I become certified. The next step will be using crystals and gemstones to accompany this modality. This particular healing modality is created by Naisha Ahsian. A photo of her meditation CD is below. Quite powerful, to say the least.Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 10.31.15 AM

The photo below was taken in Sea Girt, New Jersey last weekend during my Primus healing workshop. The monochromatic tones of this beach scene are so close in contrast, and soothing to the eye. Nothing like visiting the beach in the heart of winter. An unexpectedly mild day for January was the experience at 63 degrees; simply beautiful and peaceful. The sky has stories to tell, and triggers my imagination.IMG_0803The month of January historically is the coldest  month of the year. Snow falls heavily as a rule, and frankly I look forward to that feeling of hibernation, being house bound, lighting candles and that wonderful sound of nothingness as the snow hits the ground. Especially if it falls overnight into dawn. There is nothing more comforting than the lack of noise, as the snow gracefully hits Earth. I love not worrying about the ice,  so far this year we have been lucky in this respect. January is also the month of Garnet, as I widely wrote about in my January 2015 post. I decided to take a different approach this year. January is the time, as I mentioned in the beginning of this post to set intentions and goals for the new year. New beginnings. Several gemstones represent this notion. These live creatures from earth also have background information they bring to earth. Why not begin with new intentions on any day? Not necessary to wait for the new year, after all.  Clear crystal quartz is one stone that reflects and shines. These supreme gifts from Mother Earth will help facilitate dreams, trigger forgotten memories into regained knowledge, promote wisdom and higher realms of perception, aid the higher chakras in emanating white light and revitalize the mind/body/spirit connection.  These crystals are known to strengthen and enhance the aura, stimulate the immune system and balance the physical body into a greater state of health. Clear crystals are so easy to wear. They work with everything, from day to-night. See my collection below.IMG_1029Top left: 30″ necklace with Herkimer Diamond, Top right: Herkimer Diamond earrings with 18k gold ear wires, Bottom left: a cluster of Herkimer diamonds prior to design, Bottom right is a lariat with 3 huge Herkimers and a garnet.  Happy New Year! All for sale on my ETSY site.

I leave you now with some insight, new information and hopefully you read this and become inspired to shake something up for yourself! If it’s not your closet, then I am sure there is some little nugget you can take away here in this blog post. Otherwise, I look forward to helping you with your image, your health and or style!

Yours in joy and style,

Dava