The Cornucopia of Life

Late Autumn is here; nearly over. The golden, brick and brown hues of the leaves fallen to the ground and crisp sounds of the dried leaves underfoot, triggers childhood memories. The distinct scent of autumn satiate my senses as I stroll outdoors soaking up the invigorating air, enjoying my environment. Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 9.30.31 PM

The focus this month are appreciation and gratitude as we prepare for our Thanksgiving Holiday.           The word, humble stirs within. This is one of the most reflective holidays, planning our time with family and friends. Gathering, cooking, eating and playing, the day is filled with bounty. This is the true Cornucopia of life. This beautiful word is derived from Greek Mythology. It is the goat that suckled Zeus, and broke off becoming filled with fruit. Eventually, folklore wise, this horn would be filled with what ever the owner wished. The other term it came into being known as is a Horn of Plenty.Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 1.19.55 PM

I rarely have the pleasure of actually seeing a Cornucopia any more. The art of this centerpiece can easily be created, with little imagination, time and treats of the season. A bevy of seasonal food pouring out from the horn. A feast for the eyes, heart and stomach.

The two foods I find essential for creating a unique meal, with depth and meaning are figs and olives. The two were discovered in ancient times, with much presence and symbolism. Olives
Image-2  are regarded as a symbol of peace and wisdom. The olive is associated in spiritual workings with bringing happiness, purity and harmony. Olive trees provide food, nutrition, timber and  medicine since ancient times. Moses referred to it as “the tree of life”. Italians have been known to hang an olive branch over the doors of their homes to ward off evil spirits.

Olives are rich in Omega 9 monounsaturated fats, minerals, such as potassium, calcium, zinc and phosphorous. They are also rich in vitamins E,D & K.  I’ve been enjoying cooking with them in combination with both African spices as well as Italian herbs. Chicken dishes are the best with them as an added pop of surprise. By adding them to dishes, they create another dimension to the food, and my absolute favorite this time of year is bringing fresh figs into the mix.  Figs. Aren’t they beautiful? Design by nature.

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Figs are a symbol of peace, plenty, and prosperity. They are an ancient fruit, cultivated for centuries and celebrated for their intense nourishment. Full of fiber, copper, vitamin B6 and potassium, they are  regarded as a sacred symbol. Allow me to dissect. The seeds are delicate, edible and abundant. Fig seeds signify universal understanding, unity and truth. Just think about those tiny little jewel toned specks unified in their purpose of creating more life. The tear drop shape body of the fruit itself, fills the hand with softness and subtle sensuality. The photos below reflect before and after. They are in their natural state, then I’ve sliced them drizzling olive oil and cracked pepper. They now can roast for about 20 minutes at 350. Wonderful accompaniment to salads, the deep pot chicken I referenced above along with the olives. Just luscious!Image-3The season brings us joy, and appreciation. It is the beginning of gift giving season. I am so happy to present some new products in MATSU now. More to enjoy, and enhance your meals. A great alternative to gift giving. Aged for 10 years, Balsamic Vinegar imported from Italy. $36. I suggest putting it to the creative test by chopping shallots and placing them in olive oil, heating until they pop. Add several tablespoons of Balsamic to it, with some herbs and whip as the heated olive oil mixture combines with the vinegar. Makes a great marinade and vinaigrette.
Limited Selection of delectable Olive Oil:Limited Selection Olive Oil imported from Italy $46.Use for dipping as is, or to enhance any meal.
Butcher Salt, with herbs laced through the heft grains of French Salt.Flavor packed Butcher Salt $24.Use on meats, fish, vegetables. Roasted or saute’. This salt is packaged in an industrial wood and metal 4″box. Included with the sea salt are rosemary, thyme, sage and marjoram.  These items are true enhancements to any meal, as well, as for your health.
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Apropos to Thanksgiving week, and prelude to the Holiday Season, allow me to introduce a few pieces from the Cornucopia Nymph Collection! Here I’ve used pearls with delicate brass strands, citrine chunks and Tahitian pearls, knotted Tahitian pearls, green garnet, Tahitian pearls and garnet accents, lastly a Medieval Diamond Sphere on 30″ chain, again garnet accent. All rich with healing properties, and characteristics determined to adorn not only your body, but your soul and spirit.Image-7

In addition to the jewelry above, I have embarked upon a new form of designing, using natural gemstones right from Earth. These are naturally terminated – meaning uncut, not dyed, appearing in their natural state. Organic beauty. These are pendants, worn on a short or long chain. The yellow stone up front is Apatite, the fireball sphere is Hessionite Garnet, the Peacock colored stone is fluorite, and the other two which look like ruby, are in fact, raspberry Garnets.                      Cornucopia at its best!IMG_0376

News Break: TRUNK SHOW at Exhale Spa, 28 Arlington St. Boston will be held Friday, December 4, Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6!.  I am thrilled to revist. It was an unfortunate set of uncontrollable circumstances due to severe flooding this past weekend that they had to shut down the entire facility. Stay Tuned for emailed invitation. And so until then, I will hold a Trunk Show at MATSU. Can’t wait to see you in either or both locations.

Wishing you all a Cornucopia of happiness, joy, peace and appreciation for this holiday season and into the new year!

Yours in joy and style,

Dava

Beyond the Diminishing Hues of Autumnal Bliss

Yes, it’s really here!  Turning back the clocks early in the month was the first hint of the last days of Autumn. Pumpkin pies, Thanksgiving and visitors from afar all flocking to be with family and friends. This time of year is peaceful and unpretentious. I personally feel few expectations through Thanksgiving. As long as I don’t strive for utter perfection, the season can be very tranquil and calm. It is a rich season, visually and nutritionally. The days are also as simple as November’s birthstones: Citrine and Topaz. Both are very warm colors, just like the foods we cook, serve and eat for ourselves and loved ones.

There are so many places we can see richness in our lives – foods being several of them. As the seasons turn, the gourd family become much more available and popular. Below we see a lovely pumpkin pie. Other mouth watering options are pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin risotto, and pumpkin bread. This humble vegetable is an excellent source of carotenes, vitamins A, C and E. They also offer minerals, antioxidants and plenty of potassium.

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One of my favorite seasonal foods is butternut squash. I love it roasted with garlic, herbs, and shallots. I’m a fan of savory flavors, rather than sweet. You can change the whole flavor by adding cumin, turmeric, and other Middle Eastern spices as well.  Look at these cute little cubed pieces of fruit. Yes, butternut squash is from the family of fruit. Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants this “fruit” is so easy to prepare – especially when you can purchase them already cubed. Great time saver. Incorporating butternut squash into your diet can reduce inflammation-related disorders such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 11.55.17 AM

November is the last month we see of earthy colors, with the last of the golden brown leaves still attached to the bark on the trees before finally letting go. This fall was very rich, and I see a fair amount of these deeply hued leaves still hanging on. They don’t want autumn to end. We know what comes next. But not quite yet! This tree clearly is hanging on. I don’t blame her! She’s gorgeous. IMG_3219

As I’ve said, it is a rich season, visually and nutritionally. May I introduce to you the birthstones of November: Citrine and Topaz. Both very warm, golden colors, just like the foods of the season. I’ve used this stone of abundance in various fashions as you can see, below. I love it in contrast to rubies, love it with the warmth of olive wood and brass, and I cherish the unpolished deep honey hue stones when mixed with pyrite, sandalwood and Kali, the goddess of love.picstitch-2Citrine is a joyful stone with energy so bright lighting up many aspects of life for those who wear it. It’s unexpected luck can appear in your life. Citrine is known as a prosperity and success stone. It is said to promote and manifest success and abundance in all areas. Citrine combats negative energy, and brings positivity to the beholder. It can relieve depression, self doubt, anger and irrational mood swings. Who needs a pill? You can see these pieces on my Etsy Nymph Jewels site, for pricing, to purchase or for additional information.picstitch-4

Many have come to know the stone for the month of November called many things. Golden topaz, Madiera citrine and  Spanish topaz. The photos above reflect these tones. The top left photo is an adujustable necklace with huge honey tones citrine nuggets, along with a tiny cluster of Madiera citrines for contrast. The lower left photo are very lemony toned faceted citrines that are wire wrapped and have  black diamond accent bead. The necklace on the right is a combination of a large faceted topaz drop and a bevy of lighter toned citrines. I’ve added copper and a chizled emerald for more flavor. I elaborated on the nature and healing properties of citrine, because it’s one of my favorite stones to create with and to wear.

The key word that comes to my mind in November is gratitude. It’s an inward feeling of kindness received and an outward attitude of giving.IMG_4212

Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express this feeling. I try to remind myself to express this to all of those around me that have supported me. Beginning with my Mom and Dad who gave me this life. What I do with it is entirely up to me. The more conscious I am, the better quality of life I can live, and the more appreciated those surrounding me feel. Below, my 88 year old mother, a true creative inspiration, myself and my sister, whose patience in life is a lesson for me to strive for. I don’t like leaving out my other sibling, but have no photos of him- oh wait, I found one! He’s in he infant stage and I am not very far beyond it in this black and white family photo. I am very proud of his art, as a seasoned saxophonist, and dancer. Yes. We received these traits from my parents. Blessed, we are. Sometimes they are hidden and not so obvious, but grateful none-the-less, as the smallest of them are reason enough to be cherished.IMG_6798

I am so fortunate to have had a successful business on Newbury St for over 30 years. I am so fortunate to have had the experience in learning beyond what a boutique can teach you, which I acquired during my “reign” at Neiman Marcus. This was truly a full, head-on learning experience. I never knew how little knowledge I had within the corporate realm. I am truly grateful, for their patience and faith in me. I lived, learned and listened to my soul tell me it was time to move on down the road.

I then shifted gears towards what I thought would be more in line with what I knew and moved over to a smaller boutique in Newton, as many of you may know, Gilda’s. Although it resulted in my leaving after a very short period of time, I am very proud to have given it everything I had. In doing so, I learned more about me. My vision was very clear. It was not Gilda’s vision. My strengths appeared quietly but could not be applied in this environment. At first I was disappointed, but then realized this was a very clear sign that I was in the wrong place, as it was not serving my inner spirit. I am, however, very grateful for having been given the opportunity to shine there, but my light was unseen.  I move ahead, not looking back. IMG_6794

I am blessed, grateful and appreciative to all of those who believe in me and have supported me. What’s next? Listen very carefully.

I am relaunching MATSU. Yes, it’s true.

Details to follow.

Until then, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Yours in joy,

Dava