Wings & Things - A Vernal Giveaway

I promised a while back that I'd do a Spring Equinox giveaway, after having so much fun with my Summer Solstice giveaway last year. Well, time has slipped by a little bit - but not terribly so - and I think I can still begin a giveaway today and justly claim that it's in conjunction with the Equinox.

I wanted to do another box filled with treasures, but said box and said treasures weren't quite coming together, and I wasn't feeling inspired to forcefully cultivate them. Sometimes I can feel my fingertips vibrating with treasure-making-madness...but not so with this giveaway. And I hate to offer up things that don't come from an inspired place (that's not really how I roll).

Nonetheless, I want to give away something, and I decided these earrings are just the thing:

Simple yet stunning - neutral enough to be loved by nearly anybody, and practical enough to be worn every day. Light as a feather (of course) and they hang about 4" long.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment. Extra love-bonus-points if you follow my blog or spread the word, but I want to keep it simple this time (a good theme, I think, for this season of re-emergence).

Comments will close on Wednesday, April 6, and I'll announce the winner on the 7th.


she promised me spring

It is sunny today! I am overjoyed and filled (finally) with the light I've been longing for. Well actually, to be honest, I managed to find the light all on my own, even through the rain, last week. So now the sunshine is a delicious, golden bonus. With springtime high-tailing it into my world, I've been doing lots of the usual spring things - cleaning, writing, crying, loving, planning, etc. A new project this year is going to be my first-ever bona-fide vegetable garden. Thanks to some lovely, hard-working boys I know, I now have 4 custom built raised-garden beds in the front of my house (the back is too shady). We put the beds right next to my patch of rose bushes (aka my rose farm):

Over the course of about 2 days, thanks to mild breaks in the torrential downpour, the beds were built and fenced in all their dirt-filled beauty.

I have never had a garden, as I mentioned above - so I know I'm going to learn a lot this year - and probably make a lot of mistakes. I'm grateful to lots of you ladies reading this who keep your own blogs with gardening tips - I'm reading all of them and taking it all in. Asher is very excited, and I am, too.  He and his little neighbor bff had lots of fun hanging out during the final building push yesterday....bouncing and running (as usual - it is REMARKABLE how very much little boys will run & bounce. And run & bounce. And yell).

So my dear friends and readers, do not hesitate to fill my comment thread with tips and tricks on gardening! I will share some of the fruits of my labor (ha) with you as the seasons progress. Over on the other side of my front yard I've planted lots of flowering plants that call in the bees and the humming birds.

And finally, on an unrelated but important note, I wore my OMG-amazing 1970s levis gaucho overalls from Nicole this weekend. And my giveway necklace from her, as well. Super stylin' cute sauce.

Everything I'm wearing in these photos is vintage, save for the American Apparel tee shirt. My coat & boots are some of my oldest beloved vintage staples - and I'm not sure how much longer they'll live - but I'm determined to wear them until they absolutely fall apart.

Wishing all of you bright spring light and productivity and love. xo


The Year of the Yang Metal Rabbit :: 2011

Dear friends - this is information from one of my dearest and oldest friends, Leah Barlow. I have left it entirely intact and it is all written by her. It is beautifully articulated and remarkably useful....I thought many of you might appreciate it at this time. And it is on this note that I leave you for a joyful weekend (text below the image is all from Leah. Art by Andrew Jones):

As requested I have written a synopsis of this year’s portents according to the Chinese zodiac as taken from Liu Ming’s annual presentation on the subject.  Many thanks to Liu Ming for his generosity of knowledge, depth of wisdom, and brilliant dark humor. Please visit his website if you’re inclined to find out more about him or his teachings:

The Year of the Yang Metal Rabbit :: 2011

As we move out of the Metal Tiger, we find that Metal Rabbit still presents us with an elemental conflict – Wood is Rabbit’s native element.  Metal destroys wood.  Therefore the full potential of Rabbit is not actualized or is tainted. – We have been in elementally conflicting signs of the zodiac for 7 years, hence bad leadership, criticism, and insecurity.

Meanwhile, there is great potential for peace (Rabbits are peacemakers).  The key to this potential lies in the Gan Ying principle which is basically the principle of reciprocity – as within, so without – collectively we’ve become disempowered and morbid, blameful and fearful.  This energy is used by inappropriate leaders to stay in power.  Change can be implemented by addressing this internal dialogue. Choose hope and empowerment! Lead by example, but keep it practical and within your area of influence so as not to become overwhelmed and resort back to hopelessness. In order to get new leadership we need to provide the correct environment for change (not blamefulness and disappointment).  Even self-criticism will only perpetuate the problem.  Instead examine your natural capacity and ACT!

Rabbit is about small group mentality (they keep to the rabbit’s den).  This is where the energy will be focused this year – family, community, locality.  Make alliances and tighten your circle now to prepare for the tremendous opportunity ahead (the year of the Dragon!)

We will see this focus on local identity play out in the political sphere – problems will tend to be internal rather than global (Egypt, Libya, Bahrain). There will be more ethic clashes and challenges of leadership than international disputes.  In general, Rabbits avoid confrontation, but because of the elemental balance this generality might not hold true – especially in the first quarter of the year.

Ultimately the chi of the Rabbit is down and in.  It’s a good year for solitude and self-reflection.  Try cultivating a meditation practice – you might find it easier than you have in the past. The most beneficial practices will be the simple and gentle ones (like Chi Gong).

Don’t be too fanciful or grandiose in any undertaking – take care of yourself & enjoy the little things.
Domesticity is especially appealing in a Rabbit year. Entertainment will tend toward the home where there is a sense of comfort and safety (not to mention family).

Those born in a rabbit year are peacemakers especially in the context of the family.  They will have a particularly strong bond with the mother, perhaps because of their intuitive nature.

In fact, one of Rabbit’s biggest claims to fame is its intuitive nature. Intuition is the ability to sense that which is not necessarily on the surface.  Rabbits recognize subtlety, hidden meanings, and the subliminal and they act based on this knowledge.  People with intuitive powers may find that they get more recognition for their intuition in a Rabbit year.  Pay attention to your own intuition and don’t be afraid to use it.

We will also see this shift from the obvious to the subtle in the fact that those who tend to operate “behind the scenes” (advisors, assistants, consultants) will be the ones wielding the real power this year.

Some things to be mindful of:

Security is a central concern for Rabbit.  Even romance will be informed by Rabbit’s necessity for security – if they feel a relationship does not offer them a sense of security (financial or otherwise) they will be tempted to leave.  Gift giving is especially effective this year as gifts are a gesture of security and alliance. Also, generosity is especially enabling this year – implement generosity so that people have an opportunity to activate their capabilities.

Because of the diminished chi of a rabbit year, Immunity will be compromised.  Minor infections can escalate easily, so take care of your self and rest often.  Also, surgery is particularly risky this year – especially if it’s unnecessary.  At the very least, make sure you know and trust your surgeon.

Lastly, do not forget the importance of cultivating a positive attitude and leading by example.  Abolish criticism and blame of yourself, your government and the media and replace it with action and hope.  This personal choice will affect change more than anything else you can do right now.


the end result

As promised, here are some photos from the photoshoot I did last week with some girlfriends. The shoot was for Cabrina's new line of chain Body Lace. Cabrina has a metal shop on etsy, and she is always open to custom designs. I'm really pleased with how the photos came out - I've never done a project like this before, so it was really fun and exciting every step of the way. BIG thanks to all the ladies who modeled and helped.

These 10 photos are the ones I edited, but there is a whole lookbook of 40-some photos posted on Facebook - the other photos were all edited by my friend Ceri May (she's also one of the models), and she did an amazing job). If you have time, go check out all the other ones, too!


Things that happen when children learn to read

Scene: driving in the car on the way home from school.

Asher: Uhh, mom? Do you have a Chevron card?

Me: Umm, no.

Asher: Well why not?

We: Well, because I don't really want a Chevron card. I don't need one.

Asher: But if you get a Chevron card they give you CASH!