Hello Mother. Hello Child. Hello Lavish Earth of Green.

May is whizzing by. Mother’s Day has come and gone, but to me, May is the month of Motherhood. I was born from my Mother. I grew into a woman and now am a Mother. I am my daughter’s Mother. Sounds so weird putting it into words, but I look at my life and sometimes wonder…  how did I get here?  Just like David Burn’s words from Talking Heads. He nailed a very powerful thought in those 4 words!  Truth is, I still feel like a child. My parents were ultra strict with me. First born.  I couldn’t wait to depart from the family nest. My relationship with my Mom was hot and cold. I began rebelling at the age of 17, shortly before graduating high school.  I honestly thought I was done with it upon graduation, but little did I realize, it came with me once I entered the “art school” environment. In my glory. Free at last. Until I missed her food. I missed family meals. I missed the luxury of the washing machine and dryer at my finger tips.  At that time, my Mom wasn’t sure how to handle me. I had left the roost and was proud of it. Probably could have been a bit more humble, but I wear my emotions and thoughts on my sleeve. I’m still trying to hone in on that one. My daughter, on the other hand, wise beyond her years.

Born in another era. I always thought she was born at the age of 5. Needless to say, wiser than I growing up. I find myself consulting her at times due to her astute common sense. This I have now, but lacked  growing up due to feeling so much restraint. This is the notion of the child becoming the parent. So bizarre when you think of it, but it definitely happens. I am aware of falling into this trap, which will burden her prematurely. Being an only child, I can only imagine the scenarios she creates in her imagination about her Dad and I aging.  Goodness, Dava, keep it in perspective, I tell myself. But the fact remains, we become our parents. Then our children become us. They later become our caretakers, with a new sense of responsibility. This is called the circle of life. The seasons turn and evolve like clockwork as life goes on. Never once to forget how fragile. Because at the drop of a hat it can disappear. It’s crucial to remind yourself daily to appreciate what we have.

We are deeply emerged in the spring evolution and the buoyancy of how refreshing it is. I observe  the sun graze through the sky during the day, teasing its colorful light through the leaves. Each night as it sets, offering a bevy of colors such as a watermelon, cherry, paprika, mandarin, and  periwinkle if we’re lucky. Gazing off into the sunset — with the delicate silhouette of the branches of the  trees  casting  themselves against the colorful sky; such an inspiring feeling. It brings me deep within my soul and reminds me that the child resides within. She wants to play in this weather, but sometimes needs to be enticed to escape from her safe place. I want to dance naked in the rain and play. No space for any inhibitions here!

Pluviophile

The beauty of the mist warrants such frivolity. It is very freeing and primal. No conditions. Letting go. Something about the rain, lately, that I find soothing.  I’ve referenced my love of rain in recent blog posts, and anyone in my life knows this to be a fact. As odd as it may seem. What I learned in creating this particular blog journey, is that I am a Pluviophile. Lover of rain; one who finds joy and peace of  mind during rainy and misty days and evenings. If we can practice this through meditation, or what ever spiritual practice what have you, the inner child will coddle you. Nurture you. This is where your true spirit lives. Getting in touch with her/him daily will unlock all sorts of pent-up, repressed thoughts and notions that can prevent you from growing and pursuing your life  purpose.  Naturally, the rain does this also. The rain is no longer a melancholy message to me. It induces inner peace and in that, enables me the freedom to weave my life into any form imaginable. All I have to do is stay out of my own way! Can you relate?

As the month of May progresses, the peak of spring is so easily recognizable. The grounds are saturated in luxuriant abundance of natural color, grateful to Mother Earth’s gift of rain, moisture and mist. The terrain is fresh and rich with lush, invigorating green hues. This is contagious. Nature produces fresh nutrients this time of the year. Asparagus and fiddleheads will pop into your mind immediately. However, when I was in Chicago for Mother’s Day, Aya and I ordered this amazing, yet simple appetizer at Ema. It features a Mediterranean inspired menu. We had Avocado & Sweet Pea, with jalapeno, lime, cilantro and mint. It felt like spring in each and every bite. Watermelon radish, an endive spear and sweet butter lettuce off set this dish of Spring. The combination, was unique yet simple and delicious.  I highly recommend this restaurant if you visit this great city.

The Greens of May

It’s no mystery why green is the color of the month of May, consequently offering its birthstone in a variety of new green tones. Traditionally it was Emerald. What I have since learned, is that there are more gemstones used for May birthstone now, more than ever.  A modern list of May birthstones have been assigned by gemology associations. My favorite is Chrysoprase. I’ve used these brilliant stones in the past, but not for a while. Ironically upon attending the latest Gem Show a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the brilliancy and aliveness of these stones. I scooped them up. I should say, they invited me to take them home. That’s the uniqueness of live creatures from earth. Yes. Gemstones are alive, hence the reason they hold many healing powers, and to some, magical ones. That’s what it can really feel like when you’ve met your match. Or when your Gemstone Match finds you!  The elements below are entering production.  They consist of 14mm faceted Chrysoprase rondelles, and 4mm faceted Peridot gemstones.  This brilliant stone appears to glow, in the dark and in the light of day.

Chrysoprase is said by the ancients to promote love and truth.  It also inspires hope to allow personal insights. It stimulates creativity and encourages fidelity in business and personal relationships. This stone attracts live, abundance and prosperity. It can aid in coping with depression and anxiety. Chrysoprase encourages deep meditative states, is calming and creates an open mind to new situations. It is a non-egotistical stone, casting the bearer to trust in life and what life offers.

The photo teaser directly above is in production now. The disc is Chalcedony base, tonal similar to Chrysoprase. The Diamond design sets on top with a pave ring surrounding the near 2″ disc. This brilliant piece will be available for purchase soon.

For immediate gratification, however the two necklaces above are currently in stock. They reflect a bit of earth combined with the brightly colored Chrysoprase gemstones. The choker has an 18k gold OM pendant and clasp. The other piece is a single 32″ strand consisting of Chrysoprase briolettes, Pyrite and Sandalwood. They wear beautifully together in harmony or alone.

https://www.nymphjewels.com/shop

Here we are in this beautiful season. I hope I’ve tantalized you into discovering your purpose, opening your eyes and heart to the beauty of nature we are surrounded by, and inspired you to appreciate all of your loved ones, near and far.

Thank you for reading, until we meet again.

I remain, yours in joy

Dava

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