Essential Needs in a Minimalist Life

September 19, 2016 at 7:20 pm ($hit I learned living off grid, Freedom, Health, Letting go, Life skills or hacks, Red Carpet, Style, Uncategorized)

20160418_113812Why Fashion No Longer Matters and Style within Function is Everything.


The wardrobe I brought from California included dresses made by up and coming California designers, quality vintage, business slacks, skirts and silk blouses and few pairs of blue jeans and tee shirts. My shoes included boots for riding and white leather Keds for sailing, leather flip flops and a couple of pair of high end kitten heels.

One year later I one two more pairs of boots for snow and rain, and haven’t worn most of my old life shoes. The snow boots were worn almost daily this winter as we receive a fair amount of snow frequently (November through May) and in drop loads of six or more inches at a time.

The jeans I brought were of the pre torn variety with cute embroidered flowers I had added. I had to make patches to cover the tears or freeze even with leggings underneath. My sensible daughter found this rather hilarious. Quality leggings matter as they need to be worn often. I now look at blue jeans with a different eye. Now is the weight of the cotton going to stand up to riding, barn chores, wood cutting, horse slobber, poo and getting stabbed at by unruly pinyon branches? Are there weak areas that are likely to tear? None of this spandex added for better fit! That makes for a weaker jean…I know it is a fact. I need boot cut as I am wearing them the bulk of the time and skinny jeans are just nonsense for so many chores and must be tucked into boots.

I have literally worn out most of my favorite long and short sleeve tees. They are cleaning rags now. I know that the cost difference in a quality tee versus fast fashion is worth every penny. Carrying a chicken back from the edges of danger means you may get a gougey chicken toenail poked through your shirt. Quality ones hold up cheap don’t.

Socks have taken on religious significance. Find a favorite and stock up. Comfort and quality are important far beyond the unicorn print or the frilly lace top. No microfibers or synthetics…ever. I never really wore socks much except when riding so this flip floppin’ girl had loads to learn. This isn’t about any certain number of pairs but enough to change once or twice a day and get me until laundry day…which may have been postponed due to a storm a day or three.

Cashmere sweaters rock. They are the perfect layer between shirt and jacket. I had to sacrifice three to daily wear and have mended two numerous times including making elbow patches. The third one has now become patching parts. The red sleeve is a sweater for the tiny dog to keep him warm and visible in snow. He can layer it under his winter jacket.

Cotton Knit camisoles are my religious garment. I have always got at least one on except in our delicious brief summer. Enough to get to laundry day 45 miles away in town but not so many they take up precious space needed for leggings and socks.

Hat means cowboy hat if you don’t want to fry your face off. Baseball caps are groovy and all but lack protection from sun, random tree branches your horse rides you through in the woods and keeps rain out of your eyes. I have given away most of my old hats. I have a summer cowboy hat and a winter one.

I had moments where I felt like Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin but I too had chosen this and knew it would in time reveal many new splendors. I also felt like Ava Gabor in Green Acres and some days I felt like Eddie Albert her husband. The personal growth I have attained is beyond measure.

So I guess this past year I have learned to buy clothes for the life I have not some version of who I think I am supposed to be or a persona I represent. These clothes are the real me in my real ranch life.



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Video Master Group Made up of Women Who are Anything but Masters of Vid.

March 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm (Excellence in Business, Red Carpet, Style) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Recently I have been working on getting my long overdue website ready for launch as a direct retailer of my art. Currently my art is available wholesale and through retailers.

Having spent the past few years working predominantly on additional skill sets including cabbing, carving, drilling and faceting gemstones I have not expanded my presence beyond a handful of retailers. This is about to change as i now have an inventory of cut stones, as well as jewelry made from recycled metals, gems and naturally occurring seaglass. The beautiful broken glass dumped into our oceans and tumbled into soft edges and washed up on distant shores. Trash into treasure.

Seaglass and Abalone Hemp 003As part of my website I want to incorporate videos of myself ranting on about the importance of shifting our consumer lifestyles to be more eco friendly and sustainable all while enjoying ourselves in the moment. So far my personal videos are pretty lame.

This video was made on the fly by Media Pro who happened to be in the building and shot this at the last second for me when I gave an impromptu talk about part of my story to some fashion students from Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

As you see I was not made up and my hair looks like it just rolled out of bed. So some of the entrepreneurs at Hera Hub have joined forces and started a private group called Video Masters on Facebook for the express purpose of posting anything and everything in video.

Here is a typical “did it myself” video for your enjoyment er rather amusement. or not as word press won’t allow me to upload the short clip : (

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Red Carpet Academy for non Celebrities

February 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm (Letting go, Red Carpet, Style) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I had the pleasure of attending the first Red Carpet Academy seminar put on by the accomplished Anita Miranda of Media Pro in San Diego and Phoenix at Hera Hub Sorrento Mesa location.

Red Carpet AcademyThis event is designed is teach the lay person how to be prepared when faced with a media event. Your event may be a corporate seminar, family or class reunion or an actual bring the local media event. I am often at art events, in store trunk shows and other events which may involve public speaking and photo opportunities and I know I have not always been pleased with the photos of myself after the fact.  I also am a very off the cuff speaker and have the knack of thinking on my feet but ask me to repeat that on camera and suddenly I am Bambi in the headlights of an oncoming 18 wheeler.

Red carpet Academy from Media Pro.

This is where The Red Carpet Academy came in to play. I arrived along with the other participants at 8:30 am on a Saturday with two outfits in tow, three pairs of shoes and naturally my Ellen Scott Grable  jewelry collection to select from. I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect but I am one to jump in and figured whatever I learned would add to my on camera confidence. Miranda brought in speakers who were entertaining, informative and easy to relate with as they were entrepreneurs too. Often as an artist, business luncheons and networking events really don’t resonate with me as I have my own unique set of challenges and opportunities.

CAM00254This photograph of Myself and Laurie Itkin, The Options Lady was taken after being given tips on makeup (It was done for us while describing why each thing was done), hair and selecting from the clothes we brought using those colors that would add that je ne sais quoi to our photos. Keep in some of us (read me) came in looking like we just rolled out of bed on a Saturday morning with little direction and others looked like they had been born styled! Miranda made sure everyone was styled to show off their best assets.

Laurie is a redhead and dresses conservatively with an eye for detail in quality fashion making her look impeccable every time I see her. I am a mixed color previously dark brunette who loves fashion and yet has a little preppy side so I may wear my J. crew with vintage ripped Levis or a silk skirt. As a jewelry artist I love color and like to think in terms of contrasting jewelry colors and whether or not my wardrobe is jewelry compatible. This event taught us how to maximize our strengths and practice on overcoming our weaknesses. SUCCESS!

Felena Hansen founder of Hera Hub office space for women also inspired us as she always does. She talked about why she needs to show her best side whenever possible in interviews and why it is okay to ask for the same when doing an on camera interview. She talked about gaining confidence to promote ourselves is a healthy and constructive way.

Hera Hub

I learned a great dea,l made new friends and connections. I had such an inspiring time I would recommend the Red Carpet Academy to anyone wanting to polish their public appearance skills and learn when to use a professional photographer Natalia Robert Photographer, or even a video pro for your web site Video Pro. There were many more coaches, professional broadcasters and media professionals on hand to assist and advise.

A Saturday well spent!

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