Celebrating Life after Loss

If you haven’t been here, it is inevitable that at some point you will be. I never thought my Mother would actually leave this plane called living. I had her my whole life. She was tired and her life journey was nearing the end. I felt it when she would take verbal inventory with me in conversations prior to her death about her mother creating beautiful frocks as a child with imported fabrics from Italy. All hand made. The best dressed child in her era. She grew up to be a very spicy lady with grace, elegance and style. It wasn’t until the 70’s that she began to paint. Her medium of choice was oils and acrylics. I now am the proud owner of many of her paintings. Her spirit lives on. I feel closer to her now than when she was dimly fading in this life as we know it. Below is one of her creations. She called it Pompeii. Having taken her talent rather for granted back in the 70’s, I can tell you, now I cherish it. This piece hangs in my home now.

Manifesting reality from a dream

My Mother’s death instilled a form of inner courage and confidence within me I didn’t realize I was capable of. One fine evening in July, three weeks before she passed –  I reverted back to a musician’s voice I discovered on a Claude Challe CD in 2008. I was still producing fashion shows at this point for Matsu. Little did I know how powerfully this man’s breathy, angelic voice would later influence me. I must have been the one to raise the views on You Tube by hundreds as I watched it on multiple occasions. In watching and listening to Jehro, I began to question, why? What was it about this music that brought me into my self? It triggered all of my-selves: my childhood self, my teenage-music major self, and my artiste adult self. I simply felt magical at the sound of his voice. So much so, I Googled his place of performance the following morning and made the discovery that I could take this mental fantasy that spoke so strongly to my heart and turn it into a reality. My desire to be in his presence-creative energy-was stronger than that of the fear of the unknown or doing nothing about it at all. Mom’s passing shone a new light on my life.

Fast forward. I woke up the following morning with a strong will to locate where Jehro was going to perform next. Voila! After some research, I found him on the program to perform on November 24 at Cabaret Sauvage.

I got tickets (with the assist of my fluent speaking French friend) since the ordering was all in French online. Bingo. Scored. Next, I contacted him through Messenger. I completely put myself out there. I shared with him my “vision” to fly to Paris to hear him. He responded and welcomed me. I was momentarily star struck just from receiving a response. A lovely one at that. He was flattered. I was shy and beginning to realize just what this push meant. It will be uncomfortable. I will be attempting to accomplish something very foreign and clearly beyond my own comfort zone. I had no choice but to push through. The initial contact was made in July. This is what you call serious planning!

Paris et moi

Within the very French “bordello style” musical venue and the dimly lit room, the stage comes alive with his talent, voice, guitars and drums. I was finally in the place I dreamed of since last summer. Meeting him backstage after the show was one of the most exciting moments I’ve experienced in my life. Submerged into another culture with all strangers in one small room, where he was the center of attention-having just completed a stellar concert. The Cabaret has many years of history. The decor was slightly raw but reminiscent of a dinner club.  The smoke filled circular room added ambience as the lighting changed colors throughout the evening. If you’d like to hear this magnificent magical voice click here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpZJ59CtlSc

And here we are. Back stage. I’m starstruck, and I think he’s over-the-top flattered. We continued on for the night along with his  bandmates into Bastille, sipping Bordeaux and Chartreuse until 4 am in the morning. This adventure will never be forgotten.

The original focus of my trip to Paris was to heighten all of my senses. Prior to meeting Jehro, I filled my afternoon with another sensory distraction: the art of creating perfume. The notes and composition of the scents are not unlike those of writing music or playing an instrument. The correlation was intense.

The Art of  Creating Scents

There were only 3 of us in this workshop, to my delight. I wound up creating a scent unlike my trademark woodsy patchouli, sandalwood and fig candle. I will always embrace the mood this aroma captures. This makes a wonderful holiday gift — for yourself or someone else! Below is a very accurate description from my press release:

Laced with the lush combination of wood, spice and fruit to create a sultry and rich, earthy aroma that will transport you to a mysterious and intoxicating faraway land. Awaken the allure within through this sultry flame… The power of scent has been used to relax the mind and clarify thoughts for hundreds of years. The soft, warm, smooth, and creamy arboreal scent of these oils evoke the warmth of the earth which grounds us and asks us to stay in the present, allowing other cares beyond our control to slip away. The heart and crown chakras expand and the root and sacral chakras align with the heart to release obsessions, insecurities and jealousies so we may live a fuller life.

This scent has become an internal part of my DNA.  Yet I felt compelled to try another approach to my repertoire, as I approached the table in this very Parisian Parfum Studio.

What I chose from the  plethora of offerings was to go towards a more feminine scent. Hence, Pink Pepper became the star note, with a slightly more feminine note of rose, combined with incense. The interesting thing for me was experimenting with the ratios of these oils in order to fulfill the “vision” of my nose. The surrounding environment was held in the director’s perfume studio. Essentially it was beautiful apartment/flat with wonderful floral drapery grazing the ground over floor to ceiling windows. The ambience was inspiring and perhaps was what led me to the idea of adding rose into my mix; perhaps a bit unexpectedly, but with delight!

The interpretation of the art of the scent is extremely personal. The basis for a perfume or oil consists of a top, middle and base note. The art of the composition is also personal. Molecules are formed through nature and the combination of the chosen scents, have endless possibilities. The elements are composed of several categories such as: citrus, floral, fruity, green, oceanic, oriental, spicy and woody. If you know me, my tendency is towards the woods; deep, dark and mysterious.

This trip was beyond nurturing. I was completely in my element being exposed to such high style everywhere. I was also struck by the history and architecture, from the beautiful skyline to the cobblestone streets. Experiencing Paris at night is one of the most romantic and engaging scenes ever.  From this view I saw it all! This was truly a self-indulging affair which I can thank my Mother for. She gave me life and taught me how to live it to the fullest. In doing so, I learned to nurture myself, and those around me will deeply benefit.

The Nurturing Pearl

Shame on me! I admit. I stereotyped the majestic pearl. I thought they were preppy. I thought they were boring. I often thought they lacked complexity in healing properties offered.  It wasn’t until I cleaned out my Mom’s jewelry box along, with my sister, that I realized how healing these creatures from the Oyster are! My Mother had tons of pearls. Some costume, some real. Regardless, as I handled them in organizing the array that lay before us, they continued to ask to be fondled. Their round spherical smooth shapes were conducive to having a tranquil effect on my hands, then grew into my heart. After all, I had just lost my Mom 1.5 weeks prior to when I arrived down South to sift through her home. We started within her drawers and as I mentioned, her massive jewelry collections. This opportunity re-introduced me to the wisdom and beauty of the pearl.

Since I returned from Florida after this challenging yet necessary feat, I began visualizing pearls in my head- to the point that I am compelled to find some beauties and drill them, and create earrings first, so they would be on me at all times. I then somehow stumbled upon a collection of primitive looking baroque pearls ranging in colors, sizes and shapes. I made several long single strand necklaces to be worn as a talisman and an elegant accessory on the body. I even placed stacking roll-on bracelets into my collection with 18k gold bead accents on them as pictured below. The photos below depict several different pieces available in my Atelier and also in my online shop Nymph Jewels.

I have not been able to remove the sensual pearl earrings from my ears in months. There is indeed something beautiful about their simplicity and understated elegance that works with each and every other piece I wear. As far as the wardrobe goes, this too is a wonderful backdrop for any pearl necklace I decide to wear on any given day.

The mystery of the pearl runs deep. In Chinese culture, it is said that pearls fall to earth when dragons fight in the clouds. Dragons are often seen with a pearl in their mouth or claws- which is a symbol of immortality, luck and magic. Western lore, on the other hand, holds the pearl as the stone of Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon and wild magic. Worldwide, the magnificent pearl has been said to have the kind of legendary, mystical, restorative and healing powers that have fired imaginations for centuries. Pearls have been associated with the Moon and femininity, along with the fact they are grown underwater symbolizing emotions. Pearl energy represents innocence, purity and integrity. Due to their natural beauty, wearing the pearl is a natural attraction for bonding friendships and for love. From another standpoint, wearing the Pearl instills the bearer in accepting love, self love and nurturing. It’s no wonder they simply feel good to the eye and actual touch. There is no such thing as wearing too many pearls. They love one another and will love you for having chosen them to become part of your life.

Pearls will always now bring my spirit and soul close to my Mom’s spirit. This is most likely why I have worn mine daily, and have been encompassing the pearls into the Nymph Collection. Never a trend, always in style. They are the true form of classic elegance. Thank you Mom! I love you and miss you. I know you are up there watching me. You’ve inspired me in this lifetime. I promise not to ignore any inner signs from the universe, or the cloud formation because I’ll instinctively know it is you.

Yours in joy,

The Season of Vibrancy and the Great Pumpkin

Summer, I’m so sorry to see you leave! Actually, I lied. I am thrilled to see you fade. Your presence, these past several months, conjured way too much havoc on my soul. Too much heat. Too much fire. Not enough water. “Completely out of balance,” said my soul. I love you Summer, but am happy you’ve disappeared. For now. Sun, you are beautiful, especially during your sunrises and sets. You offer such pleasantries morning, noon and night.  The sunset below was on  the Fourth of July glowing over the Boston skyline.

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Autumn, you are more than welcome!  Nothing stagnant about you. You are feisty as you move and change. You’re air brings a sense of crispness and finite freshness every day. You’re offering of such radiant colors  appear to be overflowing from a cornucopia.  The Autumnal palette is  captivating and  visually addicting. Everywhere you look this time of year, there is a promise of vibrancy and intesity. A visionary or artist’s most desired dream.img_3486

I am in love with you, Autumn. You offer so many different elements which enamour me. You are easy to embrace. You’re knack for titillating the senses, despite the time of day inspires me. Early morning- crack of dawn beauty the most subtly obvious. With it, comes  Dew. Fog. Clouds. Haze. Mist. The photo of the candles below portray our newest addition to our candle series. This collection is entitled VAPOR.  They are $30 each. 60 hour burn time. Beautifully packaged, and poured here in the US. These soy candles have a cotton wick, offered in 4 different scents.  Each one more delicious than the next. Here are the titles, their tag line and scents.

Dew- Glimmers of Promise- olive, lavender, eucalyptus, hayacinth

Fog- The Mystery of what’s Hidden – cassis, citrus peel, fir

Cloud- a hint from the Sky- lavender

Haze- Before Clarity Comes- cedar, jasmine, fig

Mist- A light kiss at Dusk – A light kiss at Dawn- cucumber, watercress, mint

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In keeping with this season’s tricks are not only the great Pumpkin, but also some beautiful specimens of Squash. And so the story begins. Pumpkins and Squash are a fruit. They are nutritious, and versatile. They offer seeds, flesh and flowers all of which are edible and rich in vitamins. The notion of carving pumpkins into jack o’ lanterns  originated in Ireland hundreds of years ago. Back then, potatoes and turnips were used to carve them. When the Irish immigrants arrived in America and discovered pumpkins, the Halloween ritual was born. The photo below shows all sorts of squash and pumpkins. All are edible.

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Pumpkins and squash are low in fat and sodium, high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, B, iron, protein and potassium. The varieties of these fruits seem to have increased in recent years. Each year, they seem to become more and more elaborate. Who knew?  Cinderella Pumpkins, Cinderella Squash, Blue Doll Pumpkins, Fairytale Squash to name a few. All unique in character.

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The tonal offerings during this wonderful season never cease to amaze. Down below are what is known as Porcelain Blue Doll pumpkins. These exotic, eye-catching beauties are a haunting shade of blue with deep-set crevices distinguishing their personality.

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My favorite recipe is roasting these fruits. Either butternut squash, or pumpkin diced small, piled onto a foil lined cookie sheet. Add diced eggplant, sliced fennel, mushroom medley, tomatoes, garlic and shallots minced. Sprinkle a generous amount of olive oil over the mixture, along with basil, oregano and parsley, French salt, black pepper.  Roast at 350 degrees. The flavors will meld together. While they are all roasting, be sure to turn gingerly with a very large spatula in order for the flavors to become dispersed evenly. Voila. I made this the other night, and a few days later added cooked long grain wild rice to the vegetables. The texture took on a new presence, and the flavors got sent into another dimension. Absolutely delicious!  Try it! The photo below shows butternut squash medley mixed with wild rice, boasting flavor and texture.

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OCTOBER BIRTHSTONE… You lucky Librans! You get to choose between the traditional Opal and the alternate Tourmaline. Opals are beautiful because each gemstone is adorned with a one-of-a kind color combinations. Tourmaline is one of the most radiant gems in the market. It is a bit more contemporary with out the old lore as many other gemstones carry. Tourmaline is known as the peace stone. It is known to dispel fear and create a calmness for the wearer. It promotes inspiration, happiness and builds confidence. Available in a myriad of colors and various tones of greens, brown, aqua, deep teal, and rose-pink, red, violet, orange yellow and black.

img_0538 Fresh off the press, may I introduce you to Delilah.  18k gold, tourmaline briolettes and a large rutilated quartz creates this beauty. This Nymph piece will delight your eyes and adorn your neckline. The various tones of these faceted  gemstones dance around and in between each golden bead. The clasp in the back is also 18k gold. There is something so magnetic about this necklace. It is 16″long, and has the fluidity of a knotted strand of pearls. https://www.etsy.com/shop/nymphjewelry

img_0564I leave you with the following thought. Thank you, Mr. Rumi for your inner kindness and wisdom.

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-11-53-04-am I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey. If you are interested in purchasing any candles, or gems, please feel free to contact me! I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours in joy,

Dava,

The Treasures of Autumn

The light of day has altered considerably this month. I see darkness dip into the evening earlier and earlier. The true onset of autumn, begins, exposing what the following months will portray.IMG_0088 Crisper days approach, as we begin to notice the vivid reds, oranges, and golds of autumn and how they naturally paint the lingering trees. The leaves begin to fall on the ground, leaving trails of intense colors behind. The sounds of walking through the leaves is so reminiscent of child hood, sparking a sense of freedom from within.  Having the privilege of enjoying these nuances the treasures found and discovered during this season  can be inspiring and invigorating. These are places where creativity has the opportunity to emerge. The photo above and below are a real place, taken as the sun begins to set. The little white shape barely visible beneath is a swan. Her white feathers creating such a graceful contrast to the vivid tones in nature.IMG_0107Color is always around us. It has many psychological effects on our moods, emotions, attitude and behavior. Two main  categories of how this works is simple. Warm and cool colors.  The tones you see in the photo above can spark emotions ranging from warmth and passion, to possible hostility and anger. These warm tones of oranges, reds, yellows and gold are stimulating colors.IMG_0094 These colors are often associated with food and have the ability to enhance your appetite. The colors of fall, as intense as they can be, are so welcoming as the temperatures drop. Wearing these tones also help us to mentally stay warm despite waking to 41 degree temperatures in the morning. Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 12.05.50 PMAs I mentioned wearing these colors, the similarity in nature and my necklace are obvious!  I created this multi strand necklace using  hessionite garnet strands  and contrasted it with rich olive wood. Sort of like the bark from the trees and the leaves dangling gracefully as they await their turn to drop to the ground, covering what previously lies there. See the combination below. Earthy, with a touch of glamour and warmth.IMG_7152Triple strand necklace with 2 Hessionite Garnet strands, ranging from deep brick, to  golden-yellow tones. The olive wood off sets the gemstones by adding density, earth and grounding to this piece. Sterling silver vintage beads are dispersed throughout the deep rich wood. This marvelous oval pendant culminates all of the tones in this necklace. Measuring about 2″ in length, the healing properties of this Pietersite stone pendant connects you to your own internal guidance system, aiding in life’s changes.IMG_7149Pietersite. Tempest stone holding the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven by linking the spiritual realm with everyday living, dispelling illusion and assisting in the recognition of the beauty of the soul. Pietersite offers a mixture of both warm as well as cooler tones within the stone, and this one above is clearly the warmer version, keeping on trend with the subject in this blog journey; Autumnal tones. The necklace is  available at my shop, MATSU. Come on in and try it on!

Transitioning into my next topic, please allow me to  present another autumnal vision. Starshaped moss as the bed, with  vivid leaves lying on top of a natural state of beauty. Those brightly colored leaves are dancing on the moss.

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Yes, you wanted me to replicate my perfume, but instead, after a 4.5 month study, research and experimenting, I am proud and pleased to present:  ‘d a v a ‘.  the Candle.  See the freshly poured production in the photo directly below. Next step: packaging. Can not wait to share the end product with you!IMG_0915This project has been one  major creative feat. From the unusual mixture,  balancing the layers of these components,  deciding on the color of the end product, and the packaging. Distributed through Eastern Accent, available in fine boutiques and salons throughout the United States, available for shipping to you directly from MATSU. $58.00 each, 60 hour burn time. Pure soy candle. They will be in store in time for late Autumn and the Holidays. Just another treasure in the day of the life of beauty.

I will be hosting a special Tarot Event next Sunday, October 18. See invite below. This is a unique opportunity which I am happy to share, and yes it too is an Autumnal treasure.Please contact me with any questions, or Diane Fraser to set up an appointment.     Matsu.TarotCardReading2Matsu.TarotCardReading2

It’s the little treasures in life that keep sparks in our heart, and vigor in our step.Please enjoy this  colorful season as nature offers her warm palette of  hues and scents.

Lastly,  are you feeling like you have nothing to wear? Closet filled with items but nothing seems to feel good on, or goes with anything else?Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 2.59.05 PM

The best way to really prepare yourself and your  wardrobe for this and the upcoming season is by having your wardrobe and closet edited. Yes, it’s confronting. Yes it’s tedious. Yes it is necessary. Yes, it is liberating. Once you decide, you won’t understand why you waited so long! Best money invested ever. I guarantee it. No job is too big. Please contact me for further information. My cell is 617.510.6369. or simply email me. dava@davamuramatsu.com

Enjoy this colorful season while nature performs.

Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you at MATSU soon.

Yours in warmth & joy,

Dava