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SM Sound: Chelsea Jade

SM Sound: Mandy Harris Williams

HOW TO STYLE: Mecca Cox

Mecca wears <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/the-trench-in-pale-khaki?variant=32562913083466" target="_blank">The Trench in Pale Khaki</a>

 

 

 

This look is very me — simple white t-shirt and high waisted jeans with a western-inspired boot and silver collar. The Trench thrown over just elevates it a touch. I like simple outfits that are timeless and don’t look you’re trying too hard. Effortlessness is key!

 

 

Mecca wears <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/the-trench-in-pale-khaki?variant=32562913083466" target="_blank">The Trench in Pale Khaki</a>

 

 

I love an all white or monochromatic look. All white is kind of my natural go to for some reason. I can’t seem to keep it clean but that never discourages me.

 

 

Mecca wears <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/the-trench-in-pale-khaki?variant=32562913083466" target="_blank">The Trench in Pale Khaki</a>

 

 

A little more color and pattern mixing using my favorite t-shirt from Baba’s Vegan with my plaid trousers and simple sneakers. I’d wear this to work or to meet a friend for lunch — back when we used to do that.

Suiseki

Suiseki stones are natural sculptures carved from water and wind, unaltered by those that collect them and displayed as they were found in nature. The stones are often exhibited on hand-carved wooden bases called daiza, or shallow trays called suiban, and can take on both formal likenesses or abstract forms.

 

 

Image via Viewing Stone Association of North America

 

 

For many, viewing stones serve as works for contemplation and self-reflection, mirroring back to a viewer in the same way that one may interpret an ink blot or cloud. A particularly abstract stone that refuses to take the shape of any recognizable form may serve as an object of meditation — an inert point of focus abetting a viewer's passage to a state of stillness. 

 

 

Jim Greaves, "Moonlight and Stardust", Eel River, California, 19.5 x 7.25 x 10.5"

 

 

Many collectors seek out stones that imitate geological features — mountains, plateaus, arches, caves, islands — as well as the living creatures that inhabit them. Viewing stones that convey an earthly likeness can provide alternative landscapes to our own; points of escape from that which immediately surrounds us.

 

 

Source unknown 

The qualities of Suiseki and other viewing stones may indicate the climatic conditions of locations from which they were sourced - in this way, collected stones serve as an imprint of place and time. Their role as vestiges of events long sinced passed imbues these objects with a deep narrative capacity. It's these unknown pasts of viewing stones and the new meanings they take on when recontextualized by human hands that continue to inspire collectors and admirers alike.

 

 

Peter Bloomer, "Distant Mountain", Eel River, California, 15.5 x 4 x 7.5"

Abbe Findley

Do you have a morning ritual?  If so, what does it consist of?
 
I start every morning with a glass of water. Then I take my herbs, make a protein shake, prepare lunch, and have coffee. I like to water the patio plants while the coffee is brewing, though sometimes I forget. 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any self-care or beauty habits that you consistently practice? 
 
Running 4-5x a week is big for me, I’m not sure what I’d do without this practice!  It keeps my head clear and I feel more grounded and peaceful from it. Every evening around 6, I take a salt bath with a book and a transition out of thinking too much drink. Lately, it’s a negroni or glass of wine, when I want something booze-free I’ll go with kava kava tincture on the rocks with sparkling water or herbal tea. I use this time to flip the switch from work-mode to let’s think about something else now time. Other go-to health habits I swear by aside from soaking and exercise are cold water plunges, eating lots of fruits and veggies, taking herbs, drinking water, exfoliating head to toe on the regular, maintaining a sense of humor, being kind and loving to others and self, and keeping my skin moisturized. 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe your home in five words:
 
Kitchen peach pit patio garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste?  (share a recipe, practice or how to)

Cooking at home, buying local produce when I can, checking out books from the library, eating less meat, composting, and being resourceful in the kitchen (saving or eating the scraps on veggies, turning leftovers into new meals, making do with what’s already in the pantry). One of my favorite save the scraps recipes is pineapple tea, I picked this recipe up on a visit to Punta Mona in Costa Rica, the kitchen crew would prepare it for every meal. Here’s how:
 
After cutting up a fresh pineapple, toss all the scraps (everything but the top) into a big pot, cover with 2-4 quarts of water depending on how much you want. I like to use a gallon (4 quarts) and keep it in the fridge to drink throughout the week. Bring the pot to a boil, turn off the heat and leave covered for an hour or two. Strain and stick it in the fridge in quart jars, a pitcher, or a reusable gallon jug. Feel free to add other herbs to the pot, a few of my favorites are Tulsi, Lemongrass, Ginger, or Linden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?
 
Simple living. 
Waste not, want not. 
 
My granny always says, “waste not, want not,” as she moves about the kitchen. I think her and my grandma’s resourcefulness tips I learned growing up are the ones I hold the closest, often centered around reusing bags from the store, mayo and jam jars, aluminum foil, and not wasting food.

 

 

 

What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished?

I recently finished a patio garden project, mostly just repotting plants, and freshening things up a bit, picked up a few fresh herbs from the nursery (Lemon Verbena, Holy Basil, Shiso, & Passionflower).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What distracts you?  How do you remain centered?

Trying to do too many things at once, overthinking, good TV shows, and media. 
 
Taking breaks, moving slow, and making room for rest.

 

 

 

 

 

How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?

I grew up on a farm outside a town of 200 people in rural Missouri and spent my 20’s bouncing between rural areas and big cities before landing in L.A. It’s easy for me to adapt to my surroundings and I’m grateful I got to experience growing up on a farm, so different than living in L.A. Every place has its own set of memories and lessons I’ve learned, I love that I can carry the parts I’ve loved from these places with me wherever I go.

 

 

 

 

 

Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.

Patrick Clancy & Gwen Widmer, artists and now friends, but formerly my professors in school. Living well with these two can be summed up in a single visit to their home in Kansas City for dinner, a true treasure of an experience. Typically, the evening begins with scotch on the rocks and a garden tour. We then move into the library and talk about art and books, then review the latest cookbooks they are into. Gwen always has some kind of delicious snack to munch on before dinner, during my last visit she revealed to me the delightful combo of pairing corn nuts with almonds. I always feel so inspired when I leave and think to myself as I drive away, this is how to live. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share a well-loved family recipe:

My Mom’s Gooseberry Pie, one of my favorite pies on earth. Gooseberries grow wild in MO, I grew up picking them out in the timber with my grandparents.

Gooseberry Pie
3 cups gooseberries
3 heaping Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups sugar

Put 1/4 cup sugar in the bottom of the prepared pie crust. 
Combine remaining ingredients and put in pie crust. Dot with 2 tablespoons butter. 
Top with another pie crust with slits in the top. Sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees then another 30 minutes at 350 or until it is golden brown and bubbling out the slits in the top crust.
 
Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening or lard (I use butter)

Cut shortening into flour and salt mixture
Add 7 T cold water one at a time until it forms a ball. I usually use more. Makes 2 pie crusts.




Cloth Interpreted — The Art of Napkin Folding

Folded napkins can signify a level of elegance or dowdiness, depending on the era — or who’s judging. For many centuries in Western dining traditions it was typical to use a tablecloth to wipe one’s hands and mouth while dining. The 17th century saw the introduction of smaller cloths designated for personal upkeep at the banquet table — these were originally vast pieces of linen that were long enough to cover a guest’s clothing, and which were tucked in or tied at the neck.

 

 

 

The Fan fold, <i>Napkin Folding</i>, Linda Barker 

 

 

 

The Basic Rose fold,<i>The Beauty of the Fold: In Conversation with Joan Sallas,</i> Edited by Charlotte Birnbaum

 

 

In the court of Louis XIV, napkins became elevated from functional cloths to elaborate works of art, contributing artistically and lavishly to the tablescape. As Louis XIV was the premiere tastemaker of France at the time, the predilection for featuring fanciful cloth creations at banquets naturally spread thoughout the lower nobility and bourgeoisie.

 

 

 

<i>Table Napkins</i>, Unknown SourceSlide fold, <i> Napkin Folding for Every Occasion</i>, Doris Kuhn

 

 

 

Folded napkins would take shape as animals, decorative shapes, floral motifs, and architectural elements, and the intricacy and inventiveness of the designs would indicate a host’s wealth and status. The napkins were frequently perfumed with rose water, and in some cases housed a hidden live songbird that would dramatically fly away once liberated from the napkin’s folds. At wedding banquets, a folded napkin would be personalized for each guest and its design indicated the individual’s relationship to the bride and groom.

 

 

 

Elegant Simplicity fold, <i>More Decorative Napkin Folding</i>, Lillian Oppenheimer and Natalie Epstein

 

 

Table napkin, 1836, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

 

 

There are several documented cases of folded napkin designs serving as symbols or totems specific to one individual. One notable fold that indicated an person's station was the Imperial napkin fold used at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna only when the Emperor was dining. The method of doing this particular napkin fold is to this day a closely guarded secret only known by two people at a time — the method is passed on by word of mouth by each person safeguarding this knowledge before the time of their death.

 

 

 

The Rifle Pyramid fold and The Ram fold,<i>The Beauty of the Fold: In Conversation with Joan Sallas,</i> Edited by Charlotte Birnbaum 

Napkin folding has an illustrious history unto itself which provides insights into status, identity, fluidity and transmutation — cloth interpreted, constructed, and then, usually, relegated to its more menial function.

Cally Robertson

Do you have a morning ritual?  If so, what does it consist of? 


 My cat is a pretty reliable early-morning alarm clock. He wakes me up at around 7 every morning, I put on a pot of coffee, and then take some time to plan out the day. Now that I’m working for myself, writing down to-do lists and outlines for each day really helps me stay focused and motivated. My desk right now is scattered with these lists and notes-to-self. It feels really good to check things off, and also to have projects to look forward to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice? 


 For me, self-care is about remembering to be gentle with myself, trying not to overcomplicate things, and finding the time to clear my thoughts and hit the reset button as much as possible. I always feel better when I get outside for a bit. I live near the mountains and love going for walks around my neighborhood or just spending a little time puttering in front of my house, which I've turned into a wild fragrant garden—there are several different kinds of sage, rosemary, lilac verbena, desert mint, and roses. I like to gather bouquets to place around the house or give to my neighbors. It’s a simple ritual that gives me a feeling of well-being. And as for beauty habits, I’ve learned that consistency and simplicity is the best practice— sunscreen in the morning, wash and moisturize at night. And now that the weather is cool, a cup of herbal tea before bed and a nice thick pair of socks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe your home in five words:


 Cozy, quiet, mountain, fragrant, verdant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? 


 As a chef, I try my best to get the most out of the food I eat. There’s always some use for the bits and pieces that might otherwise get discarded. I keep containers or bags in the freezer with food scraps for different uses— onion bits, leek tops, herb stems, parmesan rinds, and bones from roasted chickens for chicken stock; avocado pits or onion skins or coffee grounds for making natural dyes; the fibrous stems of leafy greens for sautés or soups. And if I have an abundance of something that I can’t use all at once, there is almost always a way to preserve it. We have a Mandarin orange tree in the yard that produces way too much fruit than we could ever eat. I like to make jars of marmalade or preserve them in salt with some bay leaves and fennel pollen. Both are a great way to make use of an overabundance of any kind of citrus, and they make nice gifts as well.

Salt-preserved Mandarin oranges with bay and fennel pollen


 6-8 whole mandarins (you could use any citrus here, just enough to pack tightly into a jar)
4-5 Tbsp coarse salt
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp fennel pollen 
a clean, dry, quart-sized jar


 Cut an X through the stem of the orange almost to the end, but not all the way through, so the quarters remain attached at the base. Peel open slightly and sprinkle generously with salt, and transfer to the jar, squeezing and pressing so the orange releases its juice. Repeat with the rest of the oranges until you have them all packed tightly into the jar, sprinkling each layer with a little more salt as you go. You want the oranges to be nicely packed and submerged in their juice. If there isn’t enough liquid, you can add some lemon juice. Add the bay leaf and fennel pollen, close the lid and shake. Store in a cool dark place for 1-2 weeks, giving it a shake every now and then when you think of it. Store in the fridge and enjoy for up to 6 months.


 To use:


 Rinse under cold water to mellow out the saltiness. Using your finger or a paring knife, remove the pulp. (The rind is the part you want to eat). Slice the rind into thin strips or dice. Add to grain salads, beans, pastas, soups or stews. The little bursts of salty, citrus-y flavor can elevate a lot of dishes.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close? 


 To some extent we’re all forced to participate in an impersonal and never-ending cycle of consumption, which can feel pretty empty and depressing. But I am learning to use resources close to home whenever possible. In my years working as a chef I have found that I get the most joy out of cooking with produce and ingredients from small local farms and businesses. Doing so has taught me to be more mindful of what and how I consume in general, and has also inspired me to learn more about growing my own food and being more self-sufficient. I think there is a balance to be found between supporting and learning from your community, between helping each other and helping ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished?


At the beginning of quarantine, my husband and I painted an abstract mural in our dining nook. It’s a part of the house that had always felt kind of stagnant, so we breathed some life into it. We painted in turns, in a sort of gestural call-and-response, using a mixture of house paint, acrylic, flash, oil pastel, charcoal, and graphite. The result is pretty chaotic, but I like it. There’s something kind of thrilling about vandalizing one’s home a little. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What distracts you?  How do you remain centered? 


 Oh man, everything. I definitely don’t remain centered, but I have moments of clarity. Spending time outside away from my phone helps. And working with my hands— cooking, drawing, and working with fabric. Quilting has been a calming practice for me. It’s a creative outlet, but is also tactile, systematic, and rhythmic. I get kind of lost in the process, but there is also this momentum of looking forward to the finished product that propels me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years? 


 As I’ve gotten older, I notice and appreciate nature more. When it’s a beautiful day in November and the leaves are finally turning red, I try not to take it for granted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.


 I think the notion of what it means to live well is so personal for everyone. Most of my friends have some kind of creative practice that helps them find meaning. I admire whatever it is that keeps people going and brings them hope.

 

 

 

 

Share a well-loved family recipe:


 My dad is an amazing cook. Everything he makes turns out so elegant and simple and well thought-out. His shallot vinaigrette is what I use 90% of the time I’m making a simple green salad. True, the ingredient list is startlingly long, but it’s all stuff that you can have in your pantry for a long time. It goes well with so many other things too, drizzled over boiled potatoes or a plate of blanched vegetables. I love it tossed with crisp greens like little gem, and a mix of bitter and spicy greens, like escarole, frisée, arugula, or radicchio.


 Webb’s Shallot Vinaigrette
(Makes about 2 cups)

1 medium shallot 
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup walnut oil
pinch of dried marjoram
pinch of dried thyme
pinch of sugar
pinch of salt
generous grind of pepper


 Mince the shallot and garlic and soak in vinegars for 10 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, sugar, mustard and dried herbs. Slowly whisk oils into vinegar mixture. Add 1 Tbsp water and whisk again. 

LIVING: Jess Wang

Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it consist of?



I love mornings, even if I have been a bit out of rhythm since I’m still settling into my new space. I usually like to include a run outdoors or simple core pilates workout to center myself, and a savory breakfast is always a must! Pickles are often plentiful, on the plate and awaiting my attention and care along the path to maturation. Sometimes I wake up with something to say and take a moment to write.

 

 

 

Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice?



Consistent hydration has become an important part of my life. The health of our skin, the largest organ of our bodies, relies heavily on hydration. The opportunity rehydrating gives us to absorb essential nutrients extracted from tea is one I intentionally seek out. For one, taking hormone balancing tea containing dong quai for women's health has been life changing. I take plain water and tea throughout the day, and sometimes sip on a little pickle brine, too. I think of how Cleopatra’s amazing skin was thought to be a result of her pickle intake.

 

Describe your home in five words:



Alive, layered, adaptive, curious, woven.

 

 

 

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? (share a recipe, practice or how to)



I spend a good amount of time in my kitchen, recipe testing, pickling, and making meals. I rely on water in recipes as an ingredient, and as a means for cleaning ingredients, as well as for my dishes and cookware. I’ve adapted many recipes to use reduced water (for instance, choosing to steam instead of blanch vegetables), or to recycle cooking water (if you must blanch, use that same water to boil your pasta!). I’m constantly thinking about where the water will go next if the plan is not for it to go in my body. Keeping a small edible garden and house plants has been helpful. Now that I have a bathtub, I am also finding ways to recycle bath water.

 

 

Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?



Composting food scraps is essential to the health of our homes and world. The landfill and air pollution issues caused by not composting is unnecessary and devastating. When our local government does not provide the tools for composting, it is not an excuse to not compost. DIY composting is extremely easy and I say this having done it in various formats: a basic worm bin in a second floor apartment, a set up out in a yard made from salvaged materials.

Plastics are hard to avoid, especially when it comes to food storage and transportation. Since visiting an aquarium a couple years ago and learning about the impact of plastics on the health of the ocean, I have been challenging myself to not use plastic wrap, and rely on materials such as wax coated fabric wraps, or simply using a plate to cover a bowl of food to store in the fridge. I am inspired by the traditional southeast Asian method for wrapping food in banana leaves. They impart a wonderful aroma to the foods they encase, making them lovely for gifting treats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished? (share a how to, recipe etc)



Fermented mustard greens, the Chinese way. I prepared these for a Chinese Cookery webinar my mama, Peggy and I taught in June. They are part of a cold noodle dish, Liangban Mian, which my grandma Ni Ni used to prepare in Taiwan where my mama grew up.

Suancai: Fermented Leafy Greens, the Chinese way

For 2 quart pickling jar
2 ⅔ lbs cai of your choice
(large stem mustard greens, bok choy, napa cabbage, etc.)
2 tablespoons sea salt
2-3 tablespoons rice wine
35% ABV michiu tou or 56% ABV sorghum grain alcohol
For serving: drizzle of sesame oil to taste

Remove bruised or torn outer leaves of the greens that are visibly compromised, rinse under running water, and drip dry in a colander. If very dirty, allow to soak in a bowl of water for 5 minutes until soil is loosened, then rinse off. Trim stem ends and cut through the bottom half of cai with wide stems, then tear the halves apart. Repeat once more with larger stems so you end up with quarters.

Allow cai to dry for at least 1 hour, up to 12 hours in moderate temperature, in a single layer on a plate, basket, or tray. Sprinkle with salt, evently, making sure to get in the layers of leaves. Pack gently in a clean, dry container and cover with an airtight lid.* Check on it in 2 hours and place a clean weight on top to submerge the cai in its own juices.

Taste in 2 days - it should be mildly tart! Refrigerate at this point. Cut cabbage quarters into bite size segments to serve, about 1 ½ inches. Serve marinated in a drizzle of sesame oil.

*Great if you can find a fermentation vessel with an airlock (Maybe even a Chinese ceramic vessel!), but if not you will be surprised at how resourceful you can get with what you already have at home. Pack greens into a clean, dry stoneware or glass container, sterilized with a splash of grain alcohol.

Recipe adapted from ‘Chinese Cuisine’ by Huang Su-Huei and informed by family friend, Shu Laoshi

 

What distracts you? How do you remain centered?



Being self-employed and running 2 projects means I often face a pendulum of distractions from actually being productive in my work if I’m not careful. To remain centered I seek out a structured schedule to guide me and keep me focused. I am still not very good at this, but getting better every week! Designating specific days to focus on one project at a time is helpful. I have days for pastries and I have days for pickles. When I am distracted from work by stress, I make time to process my thoughts and emotions: I’ll go outside to wander through nature, and connect with a friend I can rely on to help carry the heaviness weighing on me. At a time such as we are in, experiencing a collective grieving and outrage for black lives lost to racially unjust and excessive force by police, it is important to commit time to understand what is happening and to act for change. Awareness of what is going on in our community and solidarity for human rights is always a priority. There is going to be time in my day for social justice work every day as long as I live. Going back to productivity in my work studio, the next thing I need to do to remain centered is hire an assistant!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?



If it wasn’t for naturally occurring changes in my body in reaction to my living environment, I wouldn’t have realized I needed to change my relationship with my surroundings. I have a compromised endocrine system, which means my body’s hormonal workings are sensitive. My awareness began when I encountered a close call with type-2 diabetes back in 2015. I was not treating my body well the 2 years leading up to that point - I was working too much and not eating well or regularly enough to maintain a healthy blood sugar level, ironically while working in restaurant kitchens. With type-2 in my genetics, I was already susceptible and the environment I was working in pulled me into a vortex. I had to get out, so I struggled through the emotional and psychological barriers to change careers, and eventually with the help of many supportive friends who provided me jobs in food that were not pastry positions, found new work and meaning in experiential fermentation education. My friends at Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement were a huge part of this epiphany of healing.

Since then I have been able to maintain a healthier lifestyle, but I have also encountered a series of health related housing obstacles. A year after being diagnosed with prediabetes, I developed a thyroid imbalance, which is common in people with blood sugar issues. It was unfortunate that my first home back in LA when I left my SF pastry job in 2015 was next to a body shop that was basically a factory for painting cars. There was definitely a link to my thyroid inflammation there. When I got a raise at work and was able to afford to live elsewhere, I moved to a gorgeous 1920s Art Deco studio in Pasadena, and in 8 months was forced to relocate because there was Stachybotrys mold growing in the wall, and spores were infecting my lungs. I received no help from the Pasadena Health Department, and filed a lawsuit against my former landlord but in the end my case led to nothingness and I found myself powerless in the legal system. I did everything I could and am now looking for ways to be involved as a tenant rights activist in Pasadena even though I don’t live there anymore. Life is complex! I have learned to choose my home carefully, and I now have an air purifier. I have come to value preventive care as a priority when it comes to diet and physical activity. I am grateful to have access to healthcare to monitor my thyroid health.

Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.



Sonoko Sakai is a Los Angeles based gem of a human I deeply respect and admire. I am lucky to have found a friend, mentor, and collaborator in her. Sonoko shares her culture through teaching methods of preparing traditional and adaptive Japanese cuisine. She balances time between producing inspiring food experiences and spending time out of town in Tehachapi on a ranch where her husband’s sculpture studio is. She is also a wonderful writer and her recently released book Japanese Home Cooking should be on your bookshelf if it isn’t already.

 

 

Share a well-loved family recipe:

Scrambled Eggs and Stewy Tomatoes

Eggs and tomatoes are combined in this dish to create perhaps one of the simplest yet most satisfying dishes in Chinese homestyle cooking. It is no wonder this favored combination is found in various cuisines: classic American scrambled eggs and ketchup, or Middle Eastern shakshuka, to name a few. It’s the easiest thing to make for 1 person and not that different to make for 10 people! This version includes a splash of fish sauce for depth of flavor, the Thai way, and is finished with a handful of bright fresh herbs.

Makes 2 servings

3 teaspoons cooking oil, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce or soy sauce
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped garlic, about 1 clove
12 ounces tomatoes, chopped into rough 1-inch chunks, or cut in half if cherry or grape tomatoes
(any variety you have on hand will work, just keep in mind the bigger the juicier!)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro, basil, scallion or chives
2 cups hot rice or 4-6 warmed corn tortillas for serving

Using a pair of chopsticks and a small bowl, beat eggs with fish sauce or soy sauce until blended. Heat oil over a medium flame in a very well seasoned wok (remember, acid from the tomato can etch away at the seasoning!), or in another type of heavy-bottom skillet. When the oil is hot and starts to shimmer, give it a swirl to coat the surface of the pan and pour in the beaten egg. Save that bowl for holding the cooked egg. Have a spatula ready for lifting the cooked layer of egg to allow the still runny parts to make contact with the hot pan. Break up the egg into 5-6 sections and flip to finish cooking, then transfer back to the original bowl used for beating the eggs. Turn off the burner.

If any egg is stuck to your pan, scrape it out. The pan does not need to be immaculate, but large areas of stuck egg can get unpleasant in the next stage.

Add 1 ½ teaspoons oil to the pan, throw in the garlic, and turn the heat up to medium. Cook until garlic starts to appear translucent, about 20 seconds. Add the tomatoes quickly - careful, it may cause some splattering - they should be in one layer. Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes and stir with the spatula after a minute or two. It should take about 3-5 minutes for the tomatoes to break down and become slightly saucy and yielding, but without losing their shape unless they are super ripe which will be tasty too.

When the tomatoes are ready, turn the heat off and gently return the scrambled eggs back into the pan with the tomato. Toss with the spatula to coat the egg, season with pepper if desired, and garnish with herbs.

Serving suggestion: Enjoy over steamed rice with a side of pickles, or make tacos with hot corn tortillas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIVING: Kasia Bilinski

 

Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it consist of?



This changes for me often from time to time, depending on my current rhythms and environment. Since moving full time to our home in upstate NY, I like to wander out to our vegetable garden and see how everything is growing. If I go early in the morning, it is still dewy and feels somewhat magical. Most of the time my daughter will come with me, and we will see if anything is ready to be harvested.

 

 

Do you have any self-care or beauty habits that you consistently practice?




I love to brew medicinal teas for specific well-being needs. At the moment, I am drinking a lot of cats claw and cistus, which are both strong antiviral remedies.

My consistent beauty habit has always been to cleanse my face. I do this always, every day — no matter what. I like to alternate between cleansers; I use a gentle plant based cleanser for my morning ritual and another for the evening.

 

 

 

Describe your home in five words:


Serene, secluded, textural, illuminated, lush.

 

 

 

 

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? (share a recipe, practice or how to)


Our family strives to consider low impact in most every aspect of our living. Whether it be from sourcing our power from wind and solar, or from making conscious choices with our waste. It is just part of our ongoing mindset. Living in harmony with our surroundings — giving back what we take, blending with our environment rather than intruding upon.

This year, we have started to grow some of our own vegetables — particularly those that are not available at our local farmers market. We try to source most all of our produce from local farms and small businesses with ethical practices. By supporting our local community we are able to help our area thrive, and also minimize our impact.

We are very lucky to have a package-free pantry store in our quaint town. This allows us to shop for most of our supplies in a zero-waste manner.

I love to first look to what resources I have available to me, before rushing to buy anything new. If I can make it with things I already have, I will. We try to re-use our waste in creative ways that also benefit our surroundings. Everything can become cyclical — I once read that there is no such thing as waste, only wasted resources.

My mother taught me a wonderful trick in making an incredibly potent fertilizer from your waste: With your waste of used coffee grinds, eggshells (can be from raw cracked egg or cooked), and the scraped inside layer of banana peel, collect over time as you dispose of each, grinding the cracked eggshells as much as possible. Stir the mixture each time you add to it, making sure to bring the bottom layers up for circulation.

When your plants (both indoor or outdoor) need a lift, poke a small hole in the soil, and place some of the mixture in. Cover it back up with the soil. This can also be used scattered over the top of soil as an organic pest deterrent in your vegetable garden.

 

 

 

 

Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?


Since becoming a mother, my intentions and convictions on my environmental impact shifted overnight. I became ever more conscious that my action and decisions would implicate my daughter’s future surroundings. I want her to be able to experience this world and to be able to subconsciously immerse herself in its beauty — without restraint. Perhaps that is also why we decided to relocate upstate full time — so she can experience this firsthand, and learn how to preserve it. I feel it is my responsibility to teach her how to live lightly, how to live slowly, and how to make conscious choices.

 

 

 

 

 

What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished? (share a how to, recipe etc)


My husband and I recently decided to build a vegetable garden on our property. It is something we have wanted to do for a very long time but wasn’t possible while we lived a dual lifestyle between NYC and upstate NY. We chose a sunny site on our property that was on quite a steep slope but adjacent to a small natural spring that flows into the woods. We used mostly materials available to us on our property — disassembling old stone walls using and trees as fenceposts. The idea was to blend with the existing landscape. Because of the intense labor in using the stone and non-invasive tools, the whole project took months — probably more than it should have — but it is something that will now last some time, and has become a hearth for us. In growing the vegetables, we are slowly learning as we go. Some things are growing better than others; sometimes things get eaten by the overwhelming abundance of “friendly” creatures we have here. All in all, it has been good to work with the earth if anything at all. We will see what comes of it.

 

 

 

 

 

What distracts you? How do you remain centered?




I get very easily distracted. Often I'll start one thing and end up working on ten others simultaneously as they jump out at me. I find it helpful to consciously pull back, re-prioritise, and work on one thing at a time. Once I am able to do that, I become focused and immersed entirely, with intention. The term “ichigyo zammai” refers to a Japanese Zen philosophy- the practice of doing one thing at a time. It helps me to remain centered.

How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?




Over time, I have become much more conscious of my footprint and how even small actions can have such long lasting impact on the environment. When you become aware of it, you very easily become hyper obsessive about trying to do “the right thing”. I have slowly and methodically transitioned my practices to become as low impact as possible. For me, making a sudden switch seemed counter-intuitive — replacing every day tools that I already owned that still function and purpose, just to be using the “right” or “zero waste” object didn’t feel like the right thing to do. It has been a slow and careful process.

My relationship with my immediate surroundings has greatly changed since relocating to my home in upstate NY full time. I have become much more immersed in the wildlife and nature surrounding our property. The overwhelming sense of isolation here also makes me feel responsible for nurturing its habitats. It is incredibly rewarding to see how your actions and the way you interact with your land can really affect its wellbeing.

 

 

 

 

Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.


My mother has always lived very harmoniously with her surroundings. She respects food, and its sources. She respects all forms of life. She finds use and re-use for every little scrap of fabric, or string, or paper, or food scrap. Her experiences and hardships in life taught her this, as did her mother and father before her. It is somewhat of a family practice. Always mending (as does my father), never discarding. She is forever patching and darning, in the most beautiful and precise ways. It has been engrained in me through my upbringing. Her inventiveness never ceases to amaze me, and inspires me to do the same. I often feel completely mind-blown by the ideas she has. She is an engineer by trade — this is her mindset. Nothing passes through her filter, nothing ever goes to waste. She uses what is around her, and transforms it into greatness.

Share a well-loved family recipe:



Something my mother and grandmother both make/made. It is very simple, but somehow satisfying, and very pure.

Farm cheese, Radish and Green onion spread

Ingredients:
Fresh Radish
Farm Cheese (I used an Australian Feta from our local cheesemonger)
Green Onion or Chives
Slice of fresh bread — preferably Rye
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional caraway seeds

Finely chop the radish and green onion.
Mix with the cheese.
Spread onto toast, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with caraway seeds.

 

First Look: Fall Editorial

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/lounge-pant-lyocell-twill?_pos=3&_sid=45bc7847e&_ss=r&variant=31775717097546" target="_blank">LOUNGE PANT</a>

 


The <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/naropa-skirt-satin?_pos=3&_sid=45bc7847e&_ss=r&variant=31775717097546" target="_blank">NAROPA SKIRT</a>
The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/basho-sweater-in-heather-gray"target="_blank">BASHO SWEATER</a>

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/sage-coat?"target="_blank">SAGE COAT</a>

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/sienna-skirt"target="_blank">SIENNA SKIRT</a>
The <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/isa-sweater-in-greige"target="_blank">ISA SWEATER</a>

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/didion-sweater-in-natural"target="_blank">DIDION SWEATER</a>

SM Sound: Jen Monroe

I took Shaina Mote’s clothing as an initial jumping off point for this playlist. My experience with her pieces is that they’re quite understated and seemingly simple, but upon closer inspection they’re made with extreme care and are very elegant. I’d call them “quietly beautiful,” which is how I think about many of these songs. I started with a few more minimal favorites, songs that have very high impact with relatively few gestures, and then built it out from there.





Jen wears the NIN TOP in Salt 





I also wanted to use a lot of textures that feel organic, and I use that word here not in the farming sense but in the “living thing” sense. Shaina’s pieces feels organic in several ways: they don’t seek to alter, reshape, or constrict the body, and they seem as if they’re constructed to feel good, to be lived with and lived in, almost more of an extension of the body rather than a shell for it. Their tones and textures are muted, restrained. That organic proclivity shows up in some of the more acoustic-oriented tracks on this playlist. I’ve recently been completely obsessed with private press folk releases from the 60s and 70s, music that was probably recorded in someone’s living room for $0 and was released without fanfare or distribution, and as a result feels like a really perfect anonymous sonic time capsule, so there’s a bit of that sensibility in here too.





Last I thought about what the life of somebody who wears Shaina Mote might look like these days. It’s hard to visualize it clearly, since everybody is living such discrete lives right now, but I imagine the Shaina Mote wearer spending time in very tastefully decorated minimalist interiors and going for walks in Central Park, I tried to soundtrack those spaces. I’ve always loved music that suggests autumn, I wanted to accompany the seasonal change with songs that feel golden, warm but dry, tinged with a bit of bittersweetness for the end of summer.





Jean wears the LOIRE TOP in Salt

This is a mix that I think is largely content to exist in the background: it doesn’t need to be a focal point but is happy to complement its surroundings. I hope you enjoy it.

Color Study — Earth

The color brown has been used in visual culture since prehistoric times, starting with the use of the natural clay pigment, umber, dating back to 40,000 BC. The pigment was used by early humans to depict colors that relate to the earth and its inhabitants.

 

 

 

 

Cave painting, Lascaux, c. 15,000 — 13,000 B.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hu vase, from Banpo, Xi'an, Shaanxi, Yangshao culture, c. 5000 B.C.

 

 

 

 

 

The Ancient Greeks and Romans utilized a reddish-brown ink made from cuttlefish called sepia, which takes its name from the Greek word for the cephalopod. This pigment was later used by Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, and is still in use today.

 

 

 

 

Ma Yuan, <i>Bare Willows and Distant Mountains</i>, Southern Song dynasty, thirteenth century. Album leaf, ink and colors on silk.

 

 

 

In the middle ages, brown clothing was worn by Franciscan monks to symbolize humility, virtue, and plainness. Clothing was dyed with pigments derived from the woad (isatis tinctoria) and madder (rubia tinctorum) plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Claude Lorrain, Perseus and the Origin of Coral, 1671. Black chalk, sepia and black ink.

 

 

The color brown spent several centuries out of vogue in western painting traditions, but by the 18th century, Caravaggio and Rembrandt leaned heavily on the use of brown to create their signature chiaroscuro effect, in which the subject of a painting appears out of darkness. The subtle gradations created by shades of brown from light to dark enabled these artists to create a sense of realism on the canvas.

 

 

 

 

 

Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson, <i>The Burial of Atala</i>, 1808. Oil on canvas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 20th century, the Land art movement began to explore the earth as medium, using natural materials that were often unchanged from their found states, and often in site-specific applications. Simultaneously, artists in the Process art movement focused on serendipity and the transience of materials, creating pieces that exemplified natural forces and the state changes they influence on manmade objects.

 

 

Beverly Pepper, <i>Horizontal Twist Version I</i>, 2008. Cor-ten steel.

Sentō

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIVING: Kristin Dickson-Okuda

 

 

 

Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it consist of?


I try to read a bit when I first wake up and then carry on with the morning duties. I’ve always liked that alone time at the start of the day to complete routine morning tasks— a review of the day ahead, the expectations. A few moments to myself before the family life interactions and the follow through for the day.

 

 

 

Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice?


I’m not a focused practitioner of self care but when the window opens I find it really helpful to exercise as a way to work through unfinished thoughts, the open-ended stuff. A moment devoted to sitting amongst my books and fabric tethers to activate ideas whether indulgent or purpose-driven.

Home and self care kind of meld for me, so having things around that signify a shared moment, a memory, a practice, give me joy. I like to have flowers we pick from walks nestled on window sills or in my son Issei’s room. It’s something that both my grandmothers did that feels comforting. I also rotate little creations Issei and I have made to acknowledge that time together, especially right now.

My specific beauty habits are unfussy—eye cream and sunscreen. I take a slew of vitamins and a shot of apple cider vinegar with oregano oil and zinc droplets for immunity on the daily.

 

 

 

 

Describe your home in five words:


hued, textured, personal, affectionate, contemplative

 

 

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? (share a recipe, practice or how to)


For me, being close to nature inspires kind decisions and an obvious awareness that also extends in to how I work, how I produce that work, the pace and what thoughtful changes can be made to divert from the easy and prescribed options. Continuing education on material innovations and applications is important to me and also a close examination of the world we’re living in presently and how to remove practices and thoughts that don’t serve a positive present and future tense.

 

 

 

 

 

Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?


For my son’s pandemic home school writing projects we talked about the earth and how he sees it— from a basic perspective of conservation, scarcity and abundance, how community is defined and how we can better support all communities. By being present and compassionate and teaching him to listen to the world, I hope these initial introductions to awareness help him make a strong connection within the world and he learns how we can serve it, not annihilate it. Seeing all of these big world moments through the eyes of a child is very motivating.

 

What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished? (share a how to, recipe etc)


Some entry-level gardening and trying to keep it all alive with crushed eggshells and coffee and fermented tea leaves. Making window dressings from fabrics, scrap wood and jewelry supplies. A pendant lamp from fencing wire and fabric? Issei and I just made some celluclay flowers.

 

 

 

 

What distracts you? How do you remain centered?


Organizing, then finding old sketchbooks, article remnants, photos and going down all of those rabbit holes. I decided to give myself 30 minutes to be frivolous as a warm up then I move on to the work. When I’m sewing or doing something monotonous, I like listening to various podcasts. It also makes me feel like there is another presence in the room holding me accountable to finishing something.

 

 

 

 

How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?


There’s more contemplation in my idea process and the edits to get to the most honest design. A few years ago I shifted from clothing to furniture related accessories and objects, pieces that relate to a home and to that idea of home for me. My scale of making pieces is intimate, so an on-demand approach is efficient and material conscious. I think about my work waste in a more resourceful way, trying to use all my scraps for a next project or store it in a “future” box. I also think more about how to influence that dialogue of desires, the need and the want and how much of both is measured.

 

 

Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.


I am greatly inspired by my friend Sasha Duerr. She is both an artist and educator and just wrote a second book about natural dye and the potentials that practice can bring on a personal application but also as a viable alternative for parts of the fashion system. She connects you to the stories of plants and the unbelievable palette nature offers with actual recipes to enable real life application. I appreciate how her books generously share her experience and research and often with the historical usage, folkloric references and healing elements of particular plants. It has allowed me to think about change in our consumer dialogue and how extending the life of our garments and fabrics can be a very motivating step to connecting to the sources and materials of our things.

Share a well-loved family recipe:


I actually don’t like to go by recipes and usually have to call my mom for specifics on dishes that are specific for a dinner, holiday, etc. I like to cook intuitively with what we have, but this is a recipe Shin has honed and is a straightforward one for easy dining.

Diakon (peeled and sliced in 3/8” pieces)
Shiitake mushroom (sliced)
Ground chicken (or medium firm tofu for vegetarian version)
Ginger, crushed
Garlic, roughly chopped
Shiso, finely chopped
Soy sauce

Brown the meat and season with mirin and set aside.
Layer the daikon, the shiitake, shiso, ginger, garlic & steam until tender
(15-20 minutes).
Add the meat and serve over brown rice.

The Late Summer Edit

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/navona-dress" target="_blank">Navona Dress</a> in Onyx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/saatchi-sweater" target="_blank">Saatchi Sweater</a> in Greige

 

 

 

 

 

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/asti-top" target="_blank">Asti Top</a> in Clove and <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/loreto-trouser" target="_blank">Loreto Trouser</a> in Camel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/nin-top-viscose" target="_blank">Nin Top Viscose Linen</a> in Crema and <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/piave-skirt" target="_blank">Piave Skirt</a> in Onyx

 

 

 

 

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/paix-top" target="_blank">Paix Top </a> in Gingham and <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/loreto-trouser" target="_blank">Loreto Trouser</a> in Camel

 

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/loire-top-satin-acetate" target="_blank">Loire Top Satin </a> in Onyx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/asti-top" target="_blank">Asti Top</a> in Clove and <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/loreto-trouser" target="_blank">Loreto Trouser</a> in Camel

 

 

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/nin-top-viscose" target="_blank">Nin Top Viscose Linen</a> in Crema and <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/piave-skirt" target="_blank">Piave Skirt</a> in Onyx

HOW TO STYLE: Patricia Lagmay

 

My favourite trousers are ones that masquerade as trousers but really feel like pyjamas. Hello.

 

 

 Patricia wears the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/loreto-trouser?_pos=1&_sid=3d93f1c07&_ss=r">Loreto Trouser</a> in Onyx

 

 

I’m 5’2 but you’d never know by looking at this photo. Angles do wonders but so do these, amiright?? The last photo is me pretending to be in a small beachside town on a rainy Sunday. This photo is me pretending to be in a small beachside town for a wedding.

 

 

 

This outfit is dedicated to all the jumpsuit loyalists out there. DIY jumpsuit.

 

 

 

 

 

Once upon a time, meetings took place in person. If one called for business casual, I’d likely show up in this.

 

 

 

 

Self portraits (does this count as one?) are much more difficult to pull off than the internet makes it seem. All this to say that sometimes—most of the time—I feel sexiest in looser clothing. There’s an essay waiting to be written in there somewhere.

 

LIVING: Anne-Victoire Lefèvre

 

 

Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it consist of?


I start my morning with some stretches to release all the tensions in my body from being still all night. I then begin my morning beauty ritual: A spray of Avene thermal water wakes me up. I remove the night’s sebum with a cotton pad soaked in orange blossom toner, and apply Typology’s hyaluronic acid serum on the dry areas of my face. I use La Roche Posay’s anti-fatigue rehydrating concentrate, and Hydraphase day cream. Finally, a touch of Homeoplasmine on the lips. I generally do not wear any makeup. Afterwards, I drink a large cup of hot water with fresh lemon juice to detoxify my body and for a dose of vitamins. I check my emails while eating a savory breakfast with green tea.

 

 

Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice?


I love to use a quartz roller if I feel puffy or had a bad night’s rest, but only after having placed it in the refrigerator. I start at the bottom of my face and massage upwards to tighten my skin and to depuff my eyes. It also helps my skin absorb my face creams. I use a lot of oils, serums, and vitamins according to the needs of my skin and body. I noticed that my skin changed during quarantine: It became much more dry and sensitive. I love natural products from Typology and Seasonly. I also started practicing face yoga to prevent the first signs of wrinkles, and to naturally tighten my face. It is a part of the body that we never think to exercise and yet, it needs to be strengthened just like the rest of the body. I can’t wait to get back to the gym (I like HIIT and pilates), once the dangers of covid have passed. I have a hard time working out at home, and need a trainer for motivation. I have recently started using silk pillowcases. I immediately noticed a difference in my face and hair. I am actually looking for a better pillow so that I can sleep in a healthy position. I am often hunched in front of my computer and I feel like my body needs rest. A good night's sleep is important, because it affects my morale, work productivity & appetite.

 

 

Describe your home in five words:


Atypical, parisian, unique, romantic, charming

 

 

 

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? (share a recipe, practice or how to)


I recycle everything that I can. I try to minimize my use of water ( like when I brush my teeth). I turn off appliances as soon as I finish using them to save energy. I try to be more mindful about paper waste ( At the office, I print as little as possible, and I buy refills for my home household products instead of buying new ones, which are generally packaged in plastic)... I am in no way perfect, but I try to do the best that I can. I think that if everyone tried to do better in their everyday life, it would make a real difference.

 

What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished? (share a how to, recipe, etc.)


During quarantine, I took on a massive home cleaning project because I really needed some change. Living in the same space for three months allowed me to reorganize everything in a more functional way. I now waste less time constantly ‘looking’ for things. I took care of everything I had been putting off for a long time, and I’ve enjoyed that feeling of satisfaction. I got rid of everything I no longer wanted, giving away or selling clothes and furniture. I am looking to replace them with pieces that reflect my current state of mind. I also bought flowers because they make me feel good, it’s often the finishing touch to a big cleaning project.

 

Anne-Victoire wears Loire Top in Cupro Onyx

 

What distracts you? How do you remain centered?


A problem with someone that I care about or appreciate, whether it be in my personal or professional life. I hate conflict, whether it is spoken or not. It really affects me, I am very sensitive. Because of this, I try to be as positive as possible and focus on my work. When I am stressed out, I perform breathing exercises. I focus on the air traveling through my body and down to my abdomen. It’s an effective way to relax and de-stress. My mom also taught me the Coué method, which is a practice of self improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion that I use as soon as I have doubts or need confidence. It really works!

 

 

 

 

Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?


I have noticed our climate change, especially last summer with the heat wave, and the fires that ravaged our flora. And now, there’s this virus… All of this is due to our behavior! I think that water conservation is the most important issue because water is used in everything, including agriculture. I love eating meat, but I try to minimize my consumption even though it is very difficult. I try to purchase less and try to be more conscientious of where the products I buy come from. I try to be mindful of how my actions and choices make an impact on the environment.

How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?


I work in the fashion industry, shoes to be exact, and I think that it is necessary to be mindful in the choice of materials, packaging, the fabrication process etc… We must strive towards being better, and apply meaning to everything that we make, and then work towards achieving those goals. I think that tomorrow’s fashion must have a conscience in order to survive, and even though I am not perfect, I appreciate smaller brands, like yours, that try to change the fashion industry.

 

 

Anne-Victoire wears the Loire Top in Sage Linen

 

 

Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.


I admire my mother. The most important thing in her life, besides her two daughters, is to cultivate a sense of well being. She always has good health advice, and has instilled in us the idea that it is essential to take care of yourself. To her, beauty is what you put in your body and on your skin. I was raised with very good instincts and I am proud of them. She prefers wearing vintage over buying anything new. There are never any taboos or judgements with her. Communication and an open mind are very important in our family. She is also the one who introduced me to the Coué method, which has helped me with all important decision making.

Share a well-loved family recipe:


My grandma’s stuffed tomatoes
Ingredients : 4 tomatoes, 400g sausage meat, 1 garlic clove, 1 onions, butter, salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
2. Wash your tomatoes.
3. Cut the tops off and empty the tomatoes
4. Collect and save the tomato juice.
5. Peel the onion and garlic clove.
6. Rinse and cut finely
7. Mix the onion, garlic, sausage meat, salt and pepper in a container to make your stuffing.
8. Gently stuff the tomatoes.
9. Put their hat back and put on each hat a knob of butter.
10. Butter a baking dish.
11. Arrange the tomatoes and put them in the oven.
12. Remove from the oven after 45 minutes.
13. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

In Solitude — Artists' Lives in Seclusion

How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird
that opens its wings on the stake.
Let me sit here for ever with bare things,
this coffee cup, this knife, this fork,
things in themselves, myself being myself.

― From The Waves by Virginia Woolf

 

Above: Eileen Gray's home, Tempe à Pailla — courtesy of Centre Pompidou

 

 

E-1027's Exterior, Eileen Gray's villa on the French Riviera — courtesy of Cap Moderne











 

 

 

The Home Studio of Frida Kahlo — courtesy of Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

 

 

"A house is not a machine to live in. It is the shell of a man — his extension, his release, his spiritual emanation. Not only its visual harmony but its organization as a whole, the whole work combined together, make it human in the most profound sense."  — Eileen Gray




Interior of Frida Kahlo's House-Studio — courtesy of Estudio Casa de Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

 

 

 

O'Keeffe opening the curtains of her studio, 1960 — Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

 

The Breakfast Room, Ghost Ranch — Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

 

 

For now she need not think of anybody.
She could be herself, by herself.
And that was what now she often felt the need of - to think;
well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone.
All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated;
and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others... and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures. 

From The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
 

 

 

Andrea Zittel, Experimental Living Cabin — NY Times

 

 

Andrea Zittel, A-Z West — courtesy of A-Z West

 

 

There is no doubt that solitude is a challenge and to maintain balance within it a precarious business. But I must not forget that, for me, being with people or even with one beloved person for any length of time without solitude is even worse. I lose my center. I feel dispersed, scattered, in pieces. I must have time alone in which to mull over my encounter, and to extract its juice, its essence, to understand what has really happened to me as a consequence of it.

From Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton 

LIVING: Jodi Balfour

Jodi wears the <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/tulia-pant-1" target="_blank">Tulia Pant</a> in Camel and <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/petit-tank-organic-cotton" target="_blank">Petit Tank</a> in Bone

Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it consist of?

My mornings fall entirely victim to my state of employment. I’m happiest when I’m creeping out of bed at 5am to be on set across town by 6am but any kind of morning ritual beyond sleepily making coffee to-go and cleaning my body is unrealistic. When that isn’t the case, I nurture the opposite kind of start to the day. I languish in bed. Often coffee is brought to me. I read some literature that inspires my latent spiritual practice and then some literature that’s purely for pleasure. I listen to the birds, consider meditating and check my email.

 

 

 

Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice?


These days, I take a lot of long walks. Mostly I de-device before these walks and just enjoy the lack of digital stimulation, but sometimes I listen to podcasts that elicit self-reflection and broaden my perspective. I use my favourite skincare masque (by LESSE) a few times a week; I try to do a variety of more-rigorous exercise classes a few times a week; I make myself a thoughtful lunch. My favourite time of day, although it’s often melancholic, is just before sunset when I pour myself a glass of wine and read a novel for a quiet hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe your home in five words:


Eclectic, natural, evolving, comfortable, calm.



Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? (share a recipe, practice or how to)


I definitely have a long way still to go in this area, but right now I do my best to avoid single-use plastic, food waste and excessive use of water. Increasingly, I only support brands/businesses that prioritize sustainability practices and I try to get creative with ways of recycling not only “waste” but also furniture, clothing and books.

Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?


We don’t “need” more stuff. Take care of the things you already own and love. Drive less, walk (or bike) more, carpooling is fun (fuck you, Covid-19). Setting an intention to start composting; dreaming of living in a solar-powered home with grey water and rain water collection systems.

What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished? (share a how to, recipe etc)


I co-"designed" a dining room table for our house, which has a tricky amount of available space and needed a custom fix. We just finished the project fully last week and I’m so chuffed. We got some beautiful ash wood from a lumber yard (a very specific amount meant less waste :) and built it with the help of a wood-worky friend. It’s finally done-done and I love it so.

 

 


What distracts you? How do you remain centered?


Instagram; my over-eager, analytical monkey-mind; over-committing socially. Quiet time centres me. Time with my journal, a good book, a walk at sunset, a swim in the sea, music. Collaborating with people centres and refocuses me: the perfect combination of inspiration, ambition and accountability.

 

 

 

How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?


My immediate surroundings have always been important to me, even if I didn’t know how to fully name that as a child. But the environment at large is something I only properly started paying attention to as a young adult. Or, rather, of course I paid attention to it: I grew up on the coast in South Africa - the ocean and mountains have always been my North star. But I thought fairly simplistically about the environment up until my twenties. My relationship ship with it is much less one-sided now. I try to foster a reciprocal relationship rather than one in which I only take, take, take.

Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.


I have a friend who centres ritual in her life so, so well. She wakes with enough time to practice stillness, reads some poetry, goes for a walk, literally smells roses. She often shares her reflections and makes it that much easier for some of us to access this remarkable cultivation of calm. Despite her dedication to that every-day ritual, she’s just as game for a spontaneous adventure. The two feel inextricably linked to me. And i admire the shit out of it.

Share a well-loved family recipe:


My Grandmother's granadilla pudding:

1 cup of the pulp of fresh granadillas (passion fruit) - roughly 24 granadillas
1 cup of whipping cream
1 cup of condensed milk
Beat together well and put in the fridge to set for a few hours.
Eat with abandon :)

Women in Architecture — Amaza Lee Meredith

Born 1895 in Lynchburg, Virginia to Samuel Peter Meredith and Emma Kennedy, Amaza Lee Meredith was the eldest of two daughters. Meredith’s family experienced racist reverberations of the Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation era laws of the South. Samuel, a white master-level stair builder lost significant business after traveling to Washington, D.C. to lawfully marry Emma, a Black woman. Samuel Meredith committed suicide Amaza’s senior year of high school. The tragic loss of her father catalyzed Meredith’s dedication to creating African American material culture and design. In 1926 she moved to Brooklyn with her sister to attend Teachers' College at Columbia University. She graduated in 1934 with honors with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in fine arts.


Amaza Lee Meredith forged her own path in architecture through practice. Her legacy is deeply tied to the campus of Virginia State University’s Art Department, founded by Meredith in 1935. In 1939, Meredith completed Azurest South, her residence and work quarters, self-designed to freely express her artistic sense, an appreciation of International Style architecture, and avant-garde design. With little to no formal training, Meredith received Virginia's first land grant for African American scholars. Though the plans for Azurest South are not expertly drawn, they display an innate understanding of construction and materials believed to have been inherited from Meredith’s father. The exterior of the residence is described to have “clean lines, a strong geometry emphasizing regularity rather than symmetry, and a flat roof designed as a terrace.” The interior of Azurest South remained in constant flux. Acting as a studio, it often reflected her studies of color and materials. “Dramatic use of color; vivid patterning of walls, floors, and ceilings; and the use of inventive lighting fixtures characterize the interior design.”

Azurest South Floor Plan — image courtesy of Michael Borowski Azurest South — Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Caress — image courtesy of Michael Borowski 

Though much of Meredith’s historical endeavors have been lost, Virginia State University continues to preserve her legendary efforts. While her total number of works remains unknown, architectural design has been credited to Amaza for residences in Virginia, Texas and New York. Most notable of these are two residences in Azurest North, a Sag Harbor, NY community established in the 1940’s by a syndicate of Black doctors, intellectuals, and artists seeking vacation homes during the height of redlining practices in the United States. 

Picture Window — image courtesy of Michael Borowski

The integral thread of Meredith’s career was her commitment to her family, friends, and the advancement of Black cultural equity. She resided at Azurest South and vacationed in Azurest North with her partner and lifelong companion, Edna Meade Colson until her passing in 1984. 

Amaza Lee Meredith Teaching an Art Class — Virginia State University Libraries Digital Exhibits

LIVING: Sonoko Sakai

Do you have a morning ritual?  If so, what does it consist of?


I get up early in the morning to bake bread (twice a week). I like to have miso soup and toast (made with my bread) for breakfast.

Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice? 


Eat umeboshi, salted ume plums for overall health (especially, digestive health). Umeboshi even travels with me.

Sonoko making umeboshi

Describe your home in five words:


Home life is your art.

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste?  (share a recipe, practice or how to)


I compost my kitchen scraps. I believe that cooking starts in the garden and ends in the garden.




Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?


The planet is for all living things. We must live in harmony.




What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished? (share a how to, recipe, etc.) 


I am presently working on a garden project with my friend and permaculturist Jade Luu.  (she is the woman in the photograph with me.) Permaculture gardening incorporates techniques and practices that combine wildlife gardening, edible landscaping, and native-plant cultivation into a single and productive ecosystem.  It’s actually practicing a way of life rather than doing a goal oriented project.




What distracts you?  How do you remain centered?


My iPhone, I put it away in a mini-nap bag I made to limit my social media time.


How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?


Our relationship with our immediate surroundings have been affected by the pandemic that we are living through at the moment and by climate change. I have become more aware, more concerned, and more pro-active in finding solutions to combat the changing realities that affect the health of our planet, and by this I mean solutions I can put into action on a daily basis at home. (such as the composting or permaculture that I practice)


Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.


Farmers Bill and Miriam Keener and their extended family (4 generations) of
Sequachie Cove Farm in Chatanooga, Tennessee.  They are my dear friends. They don't’ live close to me but I feel we are part of the same community of people that share the same life values and goals – everything from raising a family to growing food and appreciating art and culture. I have been invited to their farm to teach cooking classes and hope to return soon.


Share a well-loved family recipe: 


Japanese Curry Brick


For The Spice Mix

1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick, pounded into small pieces
1 dried bay leaf
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
½ teaspoon whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 dried shiitake mushroom, broken into pieces
1 (1-inch strip) dried kombu, cut into bite-size pieces
1 ½ teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 orange, zested
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

For the Roux


1 ½ cups/340 grams unsalted butter (3 sticks)
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

Preparation


1. In a large skillet, toast cinnamon, bay leaf, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, cloves and cardamom pods over medium heat, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the spices. Transfer the toasted ingredients to a spice grinder.

2. Add the mushroom, kombu and peppercorns to the spice grinder, and grind at the highest speed for 30 seconds. Shake the grinder a couple of times as you blend to make sure the cinnamon stick is pulverized. (You can also grind the spices in batches, if necessary.) Transfer the pulverized spices to a small bowl. Add the orange zest, turmeric, ginger, sea salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.

3. To make the roux, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter is nearly melted, lower the heat to medium-low. Gradually whisk in the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux turns light brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Be careful not to burn the roux. Turn off the heat, add the spice mix and stir until well combined.

4. Divide the mixture among three mini aluminum loaf pans, adding about 3/4 cup per loaf pan, or transfer the entire mixture to a parchment-lined quarter-size sheet tray. Let cool for a few minutes at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge so the bricks can solidify. Once firm, unmold, cut each brick into 9 small curry brick cubes (or, if using a sheet tray, cut the mixture into 27 pieces total) and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for about a month or in the freezer for 3 months.

AT HOME: Jane Penny

What are you wanting to wear right now? Can you explain a bit about the current uniform you’re falling back on (or perhaps while in getting ready in these SM pieces what was going through your mind about the connection between garment and feeling...?)


I’ve been staying in Montreal for the past few months unexpectedly and I’ve had to build my summer wardrobe from scratch. I basically arrived with a carry-on suitcase full of winter clothes. Luckily I’m staying on a street with quite a few vintage stores and since they opened I’ve been able to get some really nice things, like the black dress I’m wearing in the photographs. I also found a pair of stretchy black velvet pants, I think maybe they’re dance pants, and I wear them every chance that I get, unless there’s a heat wave when I usually just have a silk slip on for days at a time. I’m very aware of how things feel on my body and these days it’s the only thing that matters to me. I’ve also been using the hair clip that I got from Shaina Mote pretty much daily to approximate the feeling of being completely bald, which is something I’ve been really craving in the heat. I also find that when I twist and clip up my hair while it’s drying it gives it a nice wave.

Jane wears the Oyster Hair Clamp

Five words that are describing how I’m feeling right now are…


Calm, dehydrated, groggy, coffee breath




A learning, mantra, or quotation that is resonating right now is…


I recently learned about the way that prison populations are counted as residents of the rural districts where they’re incarcerated, so while they themselves are unable to vote they actually strengthen the representation received by the surrounding rural population. It’s called “prison gerrymandering”. In nine states in the US people permanently lose their ability to vote once they’ve been convicted of a felony.

Right now, I’m making intentional decisions to...

Learn, eat cherries, write lyrics

Some weird things I’ve been doing this month include:


Slowly becoming a nudist, eating an ice cream sandwich almost every day, spraying water on my entire body to cool myself.



LIVING: Rosie LaJaguara



Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it consist of?


I am very much a morning person, and a person of rituals. I try to exercise in the morning first thing, but taking it slow in the morning can also be super needed. With how tumultuous things have felt lately I have been trying to not look at my phone at the start of the day and read a book instead. I tend to spend a half hour in my hot tub with my coffee and a book before it gets too hot outside. Starting the day with a soak, watching the dew start to evaporate off the leaves, the birds stretch out and start their calls, the steam of the tub breaks in the brisk air-- it's a whole new way of centering for me that I value so dearly.




Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice?


I was a person that adopted my mother's skin care routine for years which was very bare bones-- a natural soap to cleanse and aloe vera to hydrate. Makeup never. I found that when I moved into bigger cities I had to up the ante a little bit. I am completely obsessed with the customs around bathing that span across all cultures and I try to make time for a long bath at least once a week to exfoliate, hydrate, and re-set. Having a good PH balance is very important for my skin and hair so I like to draw a bath with a splash of apple cider vinegar on top of infused epsom salts or an ayurvedic bath potion. I coat my hair in coconut oil before I get in and let sit for an hour before thoroughly rinsing out with a good shampoo or soap that's not too stripping. My hair and skin are so soft afterwards I just rinse my hair with only water in the shower for the rest of the week. I am also a big fan of Gloria Noto's products and have almost her entire rotation on my shelf. You can never have too many yummy smelling soaps in the house which is why I love the binu binu soaps-- and it doesn't hurt that they are beautiful objects on their own.



Describe your home in five words:


gay menagerie tiki yacht club

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? (share a recipe, practice or how to)


It's hard for me to think of a time where I didn't factor in the environment in my practices. I know that may sound pretentious but in truth I just come from a family that was practicing composting, grey water recycling, and bulk grocery shopping when barely anyone I knew was, and I didn't feel like it was 'cool.' Whether or not I planned on it, being eco-friendly has become a foundation for my behavior in my day to day. I have tried to release small capsule collections of my work almost solely made to order, and completely season-less on my own schedule, which has not only reduced that pressure to create on a fashion delivery schedule, but I have felt has changed people's response around the way they purchase pieces.




Rosie wears the Descanso Top in Salt

Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?


My war on plastic has been hard over the years but at this current moment I find that there are so many alternatives that once you switch even one household item to something plastic-free it is so much easier to keep going back to that product (a shaving razor, bar shampoos and conditioners, re-fillable glass cleaning spray bottles) to name a few of my recent switches. Through growing my own food, bringing containers and bags on the go, and changing my household products, to name a few, I truly want to eliminate single-use plastics from my life in the next year.




What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished? (share a how to, recipe etc)


I have to be honest, I spent most of my free time at home before we were sheltering in place, but something my partner and I have really missed is going on lunch dates. I have been trying to re-create all of our favorite lunch date meals, so for us that means a lot of Japanese home style recipes. She is a huge fan of agedashi tofu, cold cucumber salad, and lunch special style carrot-ginger salad dressing. For me, cooking is all about a good sauce so I've really been trying to nail all of my favorite dressings, dipping sauces, marinades.




What distracts you? How do you remain centered?


I wouldn't say that I'm easily distracted but I have a tendency to take on almost more than I can chew. I definitely straddle that line, and taking this time away from the daily hustle has very poignantly shown me how many hours are actually in the day as opposed to how many I thought I could squeeze in. It has been a wake up call for me that has really re-aligned my practice and my relationship with capitalism. I wish I could say that it hadn't taken such extreme conditions to bring awareness to how much I was over extending but I'm grateful for the lesson and I want to make sure to keep myself in check. In general I think that practicing gratitude for all the blessings I have been given and equally giving back into the community on a day to day basis helps me to stay mindful and really calculate what is needed or necessary to continue to fulfill the areas in my life that I cherish the most.




How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?


I think it was an odd feeling for me as a person who loved dirt and flowers to not only move to NYC but then end up feeling like it was more like home than I had ever felt. Leaving NY you realize home is a feeling that can be had anywhere, and holding onto ideas of stability can be just as debilitating as they can be empowering. For me, being nomadic for a time was the most freeing experience I have ever had. I became more centered in myself and my work through the experience of holding nothing as a constant and feeling more connected than ever. I strongly feel that learning should be a lifelong practice, something we can forget if we aren't careful. Re-learning how to give just as much as you receive, not to clutch resources tightly but embrace the ebb can be hard no matter where you come from or think you are coming from. I try to capture this feeling of weightlessness as much as possible now that I have grown roots again.




Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.


I think the person who comes to mind the most readily is my friend Ruby Montana. She runs a little hotel in Palm Springs and rescues chihuahuas, many of which find homes with her hotel guests. She is friends with some of the greatest writers, artists, and filmmakers of her time and was an antiques dealer in Seattle for years, but she's extremely modest. She inspires me so much as a queer woman, an activist, and 100% cowgirl. I hope to find a little hideaway one day where I can feel secluded and next to nature while having an endless stream of visits from my favorite people. That to me is my ideal scenario of living well.




Share a well-loved family recipe:


Lately I have been really craving my dad's Arepas I think because I haven't seen him in so long. Arepa's are a traditional dish in Venezuela where he grew up. It is a meal best made with friends and family.

1. Mix white maize flour (this is the key ingredient) with water & salt

2. Roll the dough into little balls, then flatten into little pancakes about the size of your palm

3. Pan fry in cast iron skillet on the stovetop, flipping each side until golden brown
(I like them a little burnt)

4. Slice open without slicing through the other side

5. Stuff with all the fixins-- I like black beans, queso fresco, oyster mushrooms, shredded chicken, avocado, and pickled onions-- can sub with cashew crema, jackfruit, platanos, or veggies for a vegan option

Consider the Artist: Carrie Mae Weems

Untitled (Woman Brushing Hair) — The Kitchen Table Series, 1990

Over the last thirty years The Kitchen Table Series (1990) has rightfully claimed its posit as artist Carrie Mae Weems' most familiar work. Inspired by an exploration of women developing their own voices, this approach remains the thread throughout her artistry.

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1953 Weems' first medium was dance. In 1970 Weems joined the San Francisco dance company of post-modern pioneer Anna Halprin. Being surrounded by an immediate community of radicals realized within Weems a growing intrigue for visual arts. She would receive her first camera as a birthday gift and begin her exploration of photography with fervor. 

Untitled (Woman with Friends)  — The Kitchen Table Series, 1990  Not Manet's Type, 1997

Weems’ work is often performative and conceptually layered. In the artist’s own words, she is committed to “making the invisible, visible”. The gaze extended to us through Weems' viewfinder thematically examines race, gender, sexism, and class inequality. Through the elements of storytelling, spoken word, text, and inclusion of her own body, the artist has claimed her place in the construction of history. Inspiring the work of many Black female artists today, Carrie Mae Weems is a vanguard of her craft.  

Untitled  — The Kitchen Table Series, 1990

LIVING: Stella Simona

  

Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it consist of?



I take my mornings slow. I wake an hour before everyone else in my home does and spend the first hour in the bathroom indulging in beauty rituals -- a nice face mask, facial massage, oils. The next hour I spend breastfeeding and bonding with my newborn. There’s a cozy spot we like to sit at with a beautiful view right by my bedroom window. It’s especially amazing for us on sunny days since we get to sunbathe.



Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice?



Yes morning and night I love to indulge in a lengthy beauty routine head to toe. Each day I mix it up and add something new to cater to my mood -- some days it will be a different facial tool, or a different mask, or a focus on ayurvedic products.

 









Describe your home in five words:



Where love lives -- peaceful, cozy.

 




Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? (share a recipe, practice or how to)



It’s important to me to practice the art of intention in everything that I do so I do not add to waste. This means to live slowly and to invest in wardrobe pieces as well as living items slowly.

Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?



A lot of damage done to the world stems from a lack of knowledge. It’s important to me that I educate my kids about sustainability, and how it improves the quality of life.

What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished?



I recently finished my sons’ room. It was extremely therapeutic to create a space for them that they could call their own.

What distracts you? How do you remain centered?



Work distracts me. I tend to go into workaholic-mode often. I have to remind myself that although I'm very passionate about what I do, it’s very important to pause. Taking care of myself first allows me to excel at everything else -- motherhood, my marriage, career. Nature and beauty rituals keep me grounded. I try to be aware of my emotions and address them as soon as I start to go off balance. This takes a lot of discipline but is beginning to pay off as I commit more and more to it.

How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?



I’ve grown to be more thoughtful -- learning that everything I bring into my space should serve me purpose and bring me joy. I am also grateful, realizing that who I am today is meant to be and I embrace it fully.

Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.



Being in nature. Soaking up the sun, letting the breeze run through my hair, movement, breathing in fresh air. I try to do this as much as possible.

Share a well-loved family recipe:


South African Yellow Rice


○ 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
○ 2 cups jasmine rice
○ 1- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
○ 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
○ ½ teaspoon powder ginger
○ ¼ teaspoon curry powder optional
○ 4 cups chicken stock or water
○ 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or more adjust to taste
○ Lemon (optional)

1. Heat a saucepan with coconut oil.
Add ginger, turmeric, curry, and brown sauté for about 1 minute.

2. Stir in rice to the pan, about 2 minutes, then add 4 cups of stock. Then reduce heat, and simmer until rice is completely cooked- about 18- 20 minutes. As the rice cooks you may add more stock if needed. Fluffy and serve. I sometimes will squeeze lemon on top which gives it a citrus flavor.

LIVING: Trinity Mouzon

Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it consist of?



When I wake up I immediately drink water, around half a liter. After several hours of sleep you wake up dehydrated, and the sooner you deal with that the better! I have a Big Berkey water filter at home. It's extremely cost effective compared to a Brita or bottled water, and it's much tastier than tap.




Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice?



On weekdays I make a big smoothie for myself and my partner, Issey. It's usually got celery, romaine, frozen wild blueberries, frozen mango, and whatever else is lying around my kitchen! It's such a great way to hydrate and get your fiber first thing in the day. 







Describe your home in five words:



Comfortable, lived in, bright, easygoing, historic

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? (share a recipe, practice or how to)



My partner and I store all of our veggie scraps in the freezer and use them to make broth a couple of times a month. The broth is the basis of all of our meals — its adds incredible richness to beans, soups, and even saucy pastas. To make it you just simmer your veg in water for several hours with a little apple cider vinegar. When the veggies look "spent" and mushy you strain them out, and then salt the broth to taste. It stores for about 2 weeks in the fridge, or you can freeze it forever.


Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?



Honestly, I found that I ended up living a pretty unintentionally green lifestyle by being a broke entrepreneur. We buy our produce locally from the farmers market because that's where it's cheap and good, we don't eat a lot of meat because it's expensive. My partner and I spend maybe $500 a year on clothes between the two of us. I don't travel often. While it's true that there is some "inevitable" stress on the environment, a lot of it comes from the excess and the luxuries of modern life. Stay home, cook your own food, and buy stuff you'll love for years — not months.

 


What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished?



I just repotted all of the house plants! They were a little worse for wear at first, but they're really thriving now.






 



What distracts you? How do you remain centered?



The internet, usually. I spend large swaths of time without my phone on me, which is a huge help. Technology is the biggest distractor!






How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?



I think I'm really coming into a newfound appreciation for nature. I grew up in Upstate NY and sort of took it for granted. Now that I live in Brooklyn full time, it's so much sweeter to experience a few days outside of the city.







Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.



My dear friend Sophia Roe has told me that she often does her skincare routine intentionally not in front of a mirror. It helps to prevent the obsessive searching for imperfections and allows you to focus more on nurturing your skin. I really love that.




 

Share a well-loved family recipe:



My partner and I don't have a lot of recipes per se, but one of our favorite meals to make is fresh handmade pasta with seasonal veg. Issey does the pasta making — he uses a pretty simple technique that we learned in southern Italy that's just water and semolina, no egg. The key to getting an amazing "creamy" sauce for the veg is to start it off with pasta water and butter. You can't go wrong from there.



Masks for Donations

Throughout the month of June we will be offering one free cotton face mask while supplies last to members of our community that donate to one or more of the following organizations:


Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles


The Loveland Foundation


Summa Everythang


To participate, please forward a receipt from your donation made 6/9 or later to info@shainamote.com with your shipping address and preferred mask size. More information on our masks and sizing can be found here.


Please note that due to the high cost of international shipping we are only able to ship to addresses within the US. Each donor will be allotted one mask regardless of the number of donations made. Upon receiving your donation receipt we will issue a reply within one week confirming that your mask has shipped. Masks will be shipped via USPS First Class Domestic and tracking will not be available.

Sustained Justice + Change

To Our Community,


We stand in a crucial moment in our country’s history — a moment of listening, learning, reflecting and action. We stand in solidarity with
Black Lives Matter and are committed to the movement to fight systemic racism and dismantle the white supremacy that is so deeply woven into the fabric of our country and its infrastructure.


This movement has united voices across generational, racial and social divides, reaching all fifty states and many countries outside the US. Though we are given hope by the magnitude of this movement, we know that it is only the beginning of a lifetime of work — both for each of us as individuals, and for our nation as a whole. We honor the small victories that have been hard fought and won in this last week — witnessing the power of people uniting and mobilizing has been incredibly inspiring. We cannot stop here. The work of undoing a network of fundamentally unjust systems and of unlearning internalized racism is both crucial and difficult, and can only truly come from sustained effort.


We have outlined our short-term and long-term objectives for continuing to improve and hold ourselves accountable in solidarity with the movement to create deep, sustained change.


Below are the immediate actions that we are taking in our commitment to this work:

  • We are donating to mutual funds, bail funds, and family members of victims of police brutality, in addition to larger organizations such as The Loveland Foundation and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Last week, we donated over $4000 to these causes.

  • Throughout June we are offering four paid hours per week to our full-time employees to use towards civic engagement, including mobilizing for actions, fundraising, campaigning with racial justice organizations, and advocating within local government.

  • We are writing to and calling our local, state, and federal officials on issues regarding police brutality. We are asking for accountability for the countless lives that have been lost due to state-sanctioned violence.

  • We are mobilizing our community to donate by offering free cloth masks in exchange for proof of donation to one of three organizations who are at the forefront of this work.

  • We have committed to donating 100% of proceeds from all scrunchie sales to The Loveland Foundation indefinitely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will continue this work by focusing on the following commitments:

  • We will continue to seek out and hire Black creative professionals, freelancers and permanent employees, including but not limited to managers, salespeople, content creators, artists, models, writers, photographers, stylists, hair and make-up artists, and press agents. We will also seek out the partnership of Black-owned retailers, suppliers and contractors.

  • We will commit to donating monthly to organizations working to fight for racial justice issues both within our immediate community and beyond, with a minimum donation total of $9000 per year.

  • We will terminate any business partnerships with contractors, suppliers, retailers and collaborators that support causes that contribute to racial inequity, including but not limited to: companies that employ the use of prison labor or those that contribute to political campaigns that work in direct opposition to racial justice causes. We will reach out to all of our partners to learn about what action they are taking both within their companies and externally to fight for racial justice.

  • We will offer anti-racism courses and resources to employees at all levels of the company.

  • We will continue to uphold an internal code of conduct for all employees that prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, age or physical or mental disability. We will create clear and open channels for reporting any discrimination within our workplace.

  • We will amplify Black voices by continuing to share resources for Black-led anti-racism work through our site journal and through social media channels.

  • We will use the platform of our site journal to feature the work of Black writers and contributors.

  • We will circulate action items and resources within our team on a monthly basis for mobilizing, fundraising, and advocating on topics that address police brutality, mass incarceration, and racial justice in our local communities.

  • We will hold quarterly team check-ins to ensure that we are upholding all of these commitments in order to hold ourselves accountable in our mission to help create persistent and lasting change.

 

 

In this incredibly pivotal moment, we hope that all in our community will join us in both challenging ourselves and being kind to ourselves, and that you will take the time to make meaning from this moment for yourself and those around you. We have been using this resource list as a starting point for educating ourselves, we hope that it will serve as a useful resource along the path of deeper understanding and action.

Our future rests on our actions now, and we look forward to continuing to work together to create a better future ahead.


In solidarity and respect,


Shaina Mote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The SM Cotton Mask

With each purchase of a face mask from our website, a mask will be donated to California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS), a government organization that provides care including medical, dental and mental health services to California’s prison inmate population at all 35 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) institutions statewide.


CCHCS is allocating these donated masks to a women’s correctional facility in California where 200 inmates are being tested daily during the COVID-19 outbreak. Inmates have been provided masks by the facility thus far, and your donation helps the healthcare workers at this facility, who up until recently have been asked to provide their own.


These masks are 100% cotton and were produced in Los Angeles, CA using surplus material from our own production cycle. For the production of these masks and many of our other goods we use surplus yardage along with scraps of all sizes with the intention to find use and value for all of the materials we enter into our system.


If you have purchased a mask or have supported us in any way during this time, we thank you, acknowledging that this is a difficult time for many in our community and around the world. We understand that this moment has challenged all of us to consider what is important to us, which is why your support at this time is especially valued.


Please read on for instructional information in regards to proper use of our masks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prior to trying on, please machine wash mask in hot water with like colors and tumble dry. Please note that this mask has been designed to shrink after washing.


-Content: Dual layered 100% cotton fabric.

-After each use, machine wash your mask in hot water with like colors. Then tumble dry low.

-This mask includes an opening for a filter insert. Please see below for instructions and a printable cut-out guide for using a filter with this mask

-Per Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines, please ensure that your mask fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face and allows for breathing without restriction.


The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.


Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their cloth face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.


This product is not recommended for use in any surgical setting or where significant exposure to liquid, bodily or other hazardous fluids may be expected, or for use in a clinical setting where the infection risk level through inhalation exposure is high.


This product is not medical grade and does not make any claims of particulate filtration or possession of antibacterial or anti-viral properties.


For any questions or concerns regarding the proper use or care of your mask please contact us at info@shainamote.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating a filter for your mask


A 2013 study published in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness showed vacuum bags are nearly as effective as surgical masks at screening out bacterial and viral aerosols. Even tea towels or coffee filters and other similar materials can work, and will help the mask filter out more than cloth alone.


Please use the following steps to create a filter for your mask.


1. Print out
this PDF at full scale on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper

2. Cut the shape out of the template

3. Trace the cut out shape on your filter material in pen (vacuum bag, tea towel, coffee filter)

4. Cut filter material along the shape

5. Insert the filter into the fabric opening in your mask


Please note that each filter has a one-time use. Please dispose of each filter after use and machine wash your mask on a high temperature setting before reusing.

MEET: Lyric Shen

How clay chose Lyric.

About a year after graduating from college, I got a job working for
Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth, an after school program for arts and humanities. What was interesting is that I was hired as a drawing and painting instructor and they had mentioned that they needed someone to teach ceramics. I applied, and I didn’t think that they would hire me. But they did! During that time I was constantly thinking about lesson plans and so also how to contextualize ceramics in a contemporary way. At the same time something I think is cool about ceramics is the connection to a deep history of the way people have recorded life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us about your early influences.

I wanted to look specifically at Asian-American women who had been working as potters in the East coast. Just through browsing online, I came across this woman, her name is Toshiko Takaezu. After years of teaching she bought land in New Jersey which has since become her studio and legacy. It was special to find an artist who fit all of this search criteria for me. She was making commercial products casting hundreds and thousands of the same thing and eventually found her own path as an artist. I really related to that multidimensional narrative, of potters both in industry (laborers) and as artists.

 

 

 

Toshiko Takaezu throwing a ceramic pot / Toshiko Takaezu papers, 1937-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution - Photographer Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?

Since moving back to California, I’ve had the opportunity to return to the East coast periodically. A lot of the pieces featured in this residency are from a work study I did in North Carolina at a school called Penland. The potters surrounding the community are digging their own clay, mixing their own glazes, just going beyond the first step of being inspired by your environment and portraying it to really understanding your relationship to it and understanding every time you’re taking from it or giving to it. Going one step deeper from making work about your environment to making work with it. If I know there’s a way to do things more responsibly now it would be silly for me not to try my best to take that away from what I learned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What distracts you? How do you remain centered?

Hmm, devices. Something I have been doing is making sure that I take breaks. I’m not the most organized person but I do love a to-do list or planner, crossing out tasks and having a clean agenda. If I don’t schedule in breaks, you know designated mind wandering time every couple of hours (especially during quarantine), then my mind will do that when I need it to be tethered or focused the most. I try to take into account everything that factors into feeling good - physical and spiritual nourishment, etc.

 

 

 

Toshiko Takaezu, 1974. Photographer unknown. Toshiko Takaezu papers. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

 

 

 

 

Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste?

I personally think choosing a few everyday changes at a time to really stick with helps with the overwhelming feeling of responsibility as a consumer.
 I hang dry clothes and linens when possible. My roommate and I use microfiber rags instead of paper towels. I make my own green juice and raw crackers with a blender and dehydrator.

 

 

 

 

On looking forward to creation in the future...

Something I’ve missed is practicing yoga and movement in studio space. Even though the home practice has been interesting and cool in a lot of ways I really miss the people I practice with. I would love to just practice at the park with friends.

Sophia Moreno-Bunge

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?  

Lately I have been gravitating towards very light and airy feeling palettes, materials and textures. I think because it's spring, and everything has been feeling so heavy lately, it's been helpful and balancing to connect with these sensations. Sitting outside listening to birds, walking around Malibu where my dad's house is, foraging materials at his house to use for our floral deliveries - these are the things that are keeping me feeling healthy. I've been really into pastels - lavender, pink, butter yellow, blues; something about spring and these colors popping up everywhere. I've been foraging a lot of grasses - milky oats - to use for our bouquets, and also to admire - I love how they dangle and are moved by wind - and hopefully to make into a tincture/brew soon (they are good for anxiety).

 

 

 

 

What is something you have loved for a long time?

My brother.

 

 

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.
A drawing my grandfather made in the 70s of the Venice Boardwalk, right when my parents immigrated to the US from Argentina. My grandparents came to visit sometime after my parents moved and also fell in love with the bohemian spirit that my parents were so drawn to. The Venice boardwalk is now the home of our family's restaurant and hotel, so this drawing feels very special, almost like an omen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
With close friends and family that make me laugh and inspire me to be goofy, with no plans, by the ocean, swimming, cooking, eating.

 

 

What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?
I feel deeply connected to rural landscapes by the sea - especially if there is some sort of farm nearby, and lots of wild flowers.

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?

I have a couple rings that belonged to my mother. I love them - they make me feel connected to her, and to my roots, and I appreciate her sense of design. I love knowing that she got them in South America, that she designed some of them; something about wearing her rings makes me feel close to her even though I am not physically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?

I have a pranayama practice I do in the morning that makes me feel calm and refreshed. It's hard to stick to but I am making a big effort and notice a huge difference in my mood and how I am able to experience the day afterwards.

 

 

 

 

What is something you have recently rediscovered?

Making potions! I always did this as a kid, and recently I've been studying medicinal uses of plants and brewing teas using nettle, lemon balm, hops, echinacea, among others. This arrangement has a lot of plants that can be used medicinally - milky oats, mallow, and rose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?
Oven roasted vegetables with olive oil and salt. Vongole and bolognese are my go-tos.

 

 

 

 

What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?

Right now I am reading a memoir a friend recommended - Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls - it's wild. I recently read Wave, by Sonali Deraniyagala which was heartbreaking and beautiful, and I loved it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?
I love Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost, and lots of her essays. I also love Maggie Nelson, particularly Bluets.

I am really excited for Molly Wizenberg's The Fixed Stars, out in August. I've really enjoyed and connected with her 2 other memoirs so far - she explores grief, cooking, food, family, and sexuality - and I just love following along her journey.

 

 

 

 

What music is in rotation for you this month?
It's been a very quiet month, but I have been listening to Angel Olsen quite a bit - she played a live set that was available online and it was INCREDIBLE.

AT HOME: Alexa de la Cruz

Currently wearing. 

I am currently wearing soft cotton t-shirts. I love natural fabrics and the comfort they bring to the touch. It’s easy for me to breastfeed in shirts or blouses, as I can easily pull them up. That’s one of the reasons I immediately loved the SM Marin Tank. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making intentional decisions. 

Surrendering to everything that I have no control over. To feel everything but to observe my thoughts at the same time. Doing so always makes me feel calm and in control of my state of awareness. 

 

 

 

Alexa wears the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/marin-tank-organic-cotton" target="_blank">Marin Tank Organic Cotton</a> in Bone and the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/tulia-pant-1" target="_blank">Tulia Pant</a> in Camel

 

 

 

Scent and touch. 

I adore buying flowers for our home. Reminding me that spring is happening outside of our door. They bring such peace, just ~being~ with them and observing how alive but still they are. The clear cycles of birth, death and rebirth they offer visually, how beauty is always present in the different states is just magnificent to me. Nature is always my number one for comfort and bringing me back to myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I’ve changed. 

Being grateful for everything. Knowing that what is presented in my life is only here to teach and for that I am always grateful. It’s not a “change” in my life but the feeling of gratitude is more present at the moment. 

 

 

 

 

MEET: Keren Longkumer

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?

Soft edges, rounded forms with earthy creams and browns and a touch of bright yellow.

 

 

 

What is something you have loved for a long time?

The relationship with my best friend, Remy.

 

 

What is something you have recently rediscovered?
Korean drama - it’s pretty addictive. I just watched Itewon Class and Kingdom on Netflix; it’s so good!

 

 

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
When I’m home with family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?
I was born in the mountains, and I feel most at peace when I’m surrounded by lush green surroundings.

 

 

Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?
In my culture, we inherit handwoven shawls and wraps known as “mekhala”. These articles are traditionally woven by our family members and tells a story of our lineage. My mother had passed onto me an indigo blue shawl that she received from my maternal grandmother. I clearly remember the day I held that piece in my hands, it felt heavy with emotion.

 

 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?
I’ve been practicing acupuncture and homeopathy for the past five years. It helps me destress and recoup my energy after I’ve had a long day.

 

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?
My mornings are incomplete without a cup of tea. So, here’s my recipe for masala chai:

1 teaspoon black Assam tea
6 cardamom pods

6 cloves

1 inch ginger sliced
350 ml oat milk or whole milk
Sugar to taste

Pestle and mortar

Place cardamom pods and cloves in a mortar and pound it until they break in to small pieces.


In a saucepan, place the crushed spices, black tea and ginger and warm it for 4 mins. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn. Add 500 ml of water tot he pan and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat and let the tea simmer, add the milk and sugar and stir the ingredients. Bring it to a boil.

Remove the pan from the stove and strain the tea into a mug/tea pot.

And viola! Your masala tea is ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keren wears the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/pisa-top" target="_blank">Pisa Top</a> in Onyx. 

 

 

What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?
This pandemic has made me realize the importance of living a sustainable life, being able to life off of what you grow. I’ve started working on a vegetable garden and am taking inspiration from a book I’m currently reading, Roberto Burle Marx Lectures - Landscapes as Art and Urbanism.

What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur. It’s a collection of poems that is simple and easy to relate to.

 

 

What music is in rotation for you this month?

Blood Orange, Rosalia

Tiana Petrullo

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?  
I have been living in soft textiles and knitwear in varied shades of ivory. My view at home is of the art deco molding on my living room ceiling – hard lines with curved edges in a barely-there pink. I'm thinking a lot about what pairs well with gold. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is something you have loved for a long time? 
Reading. I've always reveled in the mental escape.

 

 

 

What is something you have recently rediscovered?  
Pencil to paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.
I created a wearable glass piece last year (the
Transparency Pendant) that is symbolic of the importance of transparency around varying personal mental health experiences. Its purpose is to encourage unguarded dialogue and can act as a much-needed reminder to open up. It prompts me to get in touch with my underlying thoughts every time I wear or even see it.

 

 

 

Tiana wears the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/petit-top-1" target="_blank">Petit Top</a> in Palm and the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/loreto-trouser" target="_blank">Loreto Trouser</a> in Camel 

 

 

 

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
When I'm alone or with my other half. Favorably: in nature, away from the material pressures of life in a city, and sans daily routine/obligations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?
Wide-open spaces where you can either see or touch the ocean, like a quiet, placid beach. Or there is a hike that my partner and I return to when visiting family up north – rolling grassy hills and a surrounding view of the bay. I like the freedom of an unimpeded view of the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?
Anything in my wardrobe that is timeless, beautifully-made and was created with minimal environmental impact. These sustainable concepts were never modeled for me growing up and it has been such a meaningful period of discovery to shift my own perception of consumption to align with ideas of both personal and environmental longevity. The garments that I've accumulated since then are what mean the most to me. When care and thought are put into the conception of a garment like this, it already carries a story. I love the things that I know I will have for years to come and can't wait to pass down to future generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/petit-top-1" target="_blank">Petit Top</a> in Palm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?
Sometimes I get to a point where I just need a full body and mind refresh which comes in the form of dry brushing, a face masque, and reading in the bath.

 

 

 

 

 

 Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?
Lately, I have been loving sourdough bread topped with avocado, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, salt, and pepper. Or I'll replace the avocado with sliced cherry tomatoes for a variation on a bruschetta. 

 

 

 

 

 

An etched Joseph Locke pitcher from <i>Art Glass Nouveau</i> 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?
Current: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Last: From Heaven to Arcadia - The Sacred and The Profane in The Renaissance.

 

 

 

 

 

 What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?
In The Flo by Alisa Vitti. It's a little self-help-y but I think that all women can benefit from the knowledge about how much our hormonal imbalances can affect our mental and physical health. It's very eye-opening if you haven't been exposed to these concepts before.


An art book I continuously rediscover is Art Glass Nouveau - a book from the late 80's that a friend found for me at a used book store. It sits on a chair in my living room and is easy to walk right past, but when I stop to pick it up I am always inspired by different styles of glass making and want to create.

 

 

 

 

 

Tiana Wears the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/nin-top-viscose" target="_blank">Nin Top Viscose Linen</a> in Navy and the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/aya-trouser" target="_blank">Aya Trouser</a> in Navy 

 

 

 

 What music is in rotation for you this month?
None. I have been basking in silence lately or listening to sounds coming from open windows. Since screen time has increased to maintain relationships I have been preferring to be without the extra layer of stimulation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO STYLE: Sissy Sainte-Marie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A birthday party, a baby shower, a family brunch or almost any occasion that calls for a daytime celebration. Unless it’s a bbq. That would be tempting fate.

 

 

 

 

 

A white wrap top and crisp dark denim - good for a coffee date or just about anything, anywhere, anytime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sissy wears the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/loire-top-cupro" target="_blank">Loire Top Cupro</a> in Onyx

If (when) everything goes back to normal and I am doing showroom visits and client meetings again, this is an ensemble I would present myself in professionally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d wear this to a casual gathering where I’d want my top and jeans to say I practice tasteful restraint & my animal print shoes to say I believe in individual expression and personal freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This white top with linen shorts would be perfect for doing something touristy on a warm summer day like visiting a museum or enjoying a seaside champagne.

 

 

 

 

 

Sissy wears the <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/loire-top-linen" target="_blank">Loire Top Viscose Linen</a> in Crema

I’d wear this gorgeous blouse with sassy lime green mom jeans and ridiculously high heels to go window shopping to look at things I can’t afford on Rodeo Drive or to meet friends for cocktails in the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannah Canham

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?
Soft, curved, and neutral.

 

 

What is something you have loved for a long time?
I am a sentimental and nostalgic person, but more so with memories than with objects or things. I have loved Yoga for a very long time, I have been practicing for over fifteen years and it’s something that is constantly revealing itself to me in new ways, it’s more important to me than any object in my home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is something you have recently rediscovered?
Writing in a journal. I kept a journal religiously for years as a teenager, I’m sure my mum still has them in her roof and that they would be very embarrassing to read. But in the last year I have started to write a few pages in a journal each morning to empty out my mind and I’m enjoying the practice. Once it’s on the page I feel I can usually let it go.

 

 

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.
A rose quartz was given to my husband and I as a wedding gift by a dear friend who was also our only witness when we got married at city hall. It has a special place on a shelf at home and every time I pass it I feel a loving energy.

 

 

 

 

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
When I am silent and present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?
I simultaneously love the ocean and the desert. I am a Pisces so I am drawn to the water, I relish in lazy summers by the sea. But one of my favorite landscapes in the world is Joshua Tree, exploring that desert is an incredible and peaceful experience where I feel very grounded.

 

 

Hannah wears the <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/loire-top-linen" target="_blank">Loire Top Viscose Linen</a> in Crema

 

 

Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?
I have an archive of hundreds of vintage garments and I choose each piece mindfully. The oldest pieces carry the most weight for me, I feel a great sense of responsibility to care for those garments that are over 100 years old, like an antique silk robe I have from China complete with tears and stains, it’s so beautiful and delicate I wish I knew the life it’s lived, I’m glad to be a part of its story now and will take good care of it.

 

 

 

 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?
Yoga and meditation is how I come back to myself, I try to keep up a regular home practice of both and love practicing yoga with my eyes closed so I can really connect with my breath and movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?
I don’t really follow recipes, I’m quite intuitive in the kitchen and my go-to healthy meal is just a bowl of boiled, raw or roasted vegetables, quinoa, sauerkraut and green leaves, sometimes I add tofu or beans too. It’s easy to throw yummy fresh ingredients in a bowl and always makes me feel good. In the winter I try to eat warm foods and in the summer more raw and fresh foods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?
I just finished reading my sister-in-law’s (Laura McPhee-Browne) debut novel Cherry Beach, it was incredibly beautiful and heartbreaking and I am so very proud of her! I also just read Acid for the Children by Flea and I really enjoyed that too. I love to read about the human experience in all its forms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?
Anything and everything by Joan Didion or Eckhart Tolle they both guide and feed my soul in different ways.

 

 

What music is in rotation for you this month?
Right now I always feel like listening to very chill tunes, I am mostly listening to Laraaji, Ana Roxanne, Susumu Yakota and Gigi Masin keeping the vibe very calm while I work alone in the showroom.

 

 

 

 

The Spring Collection — Articulations of Form

Mark Borthwick, <i>Susan, Purple</i>, 1995

 

 

Edward Weston, <i>The White Iris</i>, 1921.

 

 

This season embraces these qualities, discovering apt metaphors in Imogen Cunningham’s iconic black and white portraits of botanical life and in the aesthetic tradition of figure drawing.

 

 

Jacques Henri Latigue, <i>Opio</i>, 1963 Imogen Cunningham, <i>Gertrude Gerrish,</i>, 1928

Inspired by these refined and bold articulations of form - at once unapologetically romantic and unyieldingly strong - Spring 2020 brings together pieces with built-in narrative, designed in a palette of the line’s signature earth neutrals punctuated by moments of palm, nasturtium, vibrant vermillion and piscine blue.

Imogen Cunningham, <i>Magnolia Bud</i>, 1920sEgon Schiele, <i>Weiblicher Torso in Unterwäsche und schwarzen Strümpfen</i>, 1917

Symbolism, Self-Adornment

 

 

In France in the late 1600s, a time it was deemed immodest for a woman to be seen with loose hair, Marquise de Fontage was said to have tied her hair in a ribbon taken off her dress after losing her hat while riding her horse.

 

 

Terracotta limbless "doll" with hair tied in a bow, late 5th–early 4th century B.C. Greek, Attic

 

 

Men tied strands of hair grown long and braided over their hearts, tied at the end with a ribbon in a bow. These “lovelocks” symbolized a romantic token of a lady’s affection, while also emphasizing that they were well groomed.

 

 

 

 

Evidence of hair bow and adornments has been found in several ancient civilizations, and were worn to keep hair away from the face, as well as to enhance the wearer’s beauty.

 

 

 

Hair ribbon, 2600–2500 B.C., Sumerian

 

 

 

Beginning in the 20th century, hair bows came to distinguish the gender of infants - a bow on the head of a young child would clearly establish this identity early on.

 

 

 

 

Cameo tiara depicting Nausicaa with her companions lavishing their attention on the princess, fixing her hair, bringing her jewelry, and reflecting her beauty in a mirror. Luigi Saulini, Mid-19th century

 

 

In Louisiana in the late 1700s, laws mandated that African American women cover their hair with turban-style cloth headcoverings. As a form of protest against the censorship of their hair, women began to reclaim their headcoverings by decorating them with ribbons, bows and jewels.

 

 

 

LIFE, May 15, 1944

 

 

 

 

In the United States in the 1940s, LIFE magazine ran an article about high school girls using different positionings of hair bows to signal whether or not they were interested in a relationship. This method of signaling feels not unlike the lovelock, or other forms of veiled gestures used in contexts where open discussions of attraction and sexuality were considered illicit.

Idle Hours

<a href= "https://shainamote.com/collections/accessories/products/amore-hair-bow" target="_blank">The Amore Hair Bow in Crema Rayon</a>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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<a href= "https://shainamote.com/collections/accessories/products/amore-hair-bow" target="_blank">The Amore Hair Bow in Crema Rayon</a>

 

 

 

 

 

<a href= "https://shainamote.com/collections/accessories/products/amore-hair-bow" target="_blank">The Amore Hair Bow in Onyx Satin Acetate</a>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiona Dinkelbach

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?
Soft colors, dark teakwood and salt-and-pepper fabric. Organic and round shapes, black and white aesthetic and a touch of gold.

 

 

<a href= "https://shainamote.com/collections/essentials/products/avignon-dress-tencel" target="_blank">The Avignon Dress in Tencel Twill</a>

 

 

 

 

What is something you have loved for a long time?
My desk. I have the same one for over 15 years. I started my creative work on this desk back then and never replaced it over the years.

 

 

 

What is something you have recently rediscovered?
Living an analog life. Most of my days are quite hectic, especially when I travel for work. Some time ago I started to do all of my paperwork the old way – just with a pen and some sheets of paper. I have always a notebook with me. It feels so much better to write down ideas and concepts straight on paper. I do the same with to-do lists, photo selections and my appointments.

 

 

 

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.

My grandma gave a necklace to me in my early twenties. She traveled around the globe her whole life and I was always inspired by her and her many travels. Listening to her stories from foreign countries was always very special to me. The necklace is made out of a gold chain which she bought in China and has a diamond charm on it from Israel. For me it's a symbol for being on the go, for distant places and reminds me of my passion for traveling.

 

 

 

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
With no make-up on, dressed simple and my phone switched off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?

Dry, wide and open places. I grew up in a small village in Germany with big woods around and a wide cornfield behind my parent's house. This influenced me and my love to wide, open places a lot. When I traveled to the States for the second time, I did a long trip through the Mojave Desert and instantly fell in love with the vast and dry structure of this place. I still dream of living on a ranch somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

 

 

 

Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?

I own a Vintage Chanel bag from the early 90s. I bought this bag as a gift to myself for my graduation from university back in 2013. It was also my first designer bag and a very big deal for me to spend such a high amount of money on a bag. I wore it a lot back then and the bag has now several signs of wear – some scratches, the bag is slightly out of shape and the chain strap got torn apart during a party night – which I never fixed. I took the two chain pieces and knotted them together, as a reminder for all things I've done with this bag.

 

 

 

 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?

Nothing beats a good face mask. It's something I can do everywhere, even when I'm traveling.

 

 

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?
Not a recipe, but a healing thing: matcha tea.

 

 

 

 

What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?
I was always more into non-fiction books – currently I read 'The Anatomy of Dependence' (1973) from the Japanese psychoanalyst Takeo Doi. It's about the concept of 'Amae' – an uniquely Japanese phenomenon which is about being in harmony with others and be able to depend on them as a child depends on its parents.

 

 

 

 

<a href= "https://shainamote.com/collections/essentials/products/avignon-dress-tencel" target="_blank">The Avignon Dress in Tencel Twill</a>

 

 

 

 

What music is in rotation for you this month?
Tamaryn – Dreaming The Dark

Alice In Chains – Dirt

And I recently got a lot into Japanese City-Pop from the late 70s. It gives me that strange nostalgic feeling from an era I've never experienced, imagining myself sitting in a hotel bar somewhere in Tokyo and sipping on a whisky on ice. Taeko Ohnukis '4:00 AM' from 1978 is one of my favorites.

 

 

 

Karen Kim

Photo by Vera Mishurina

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?

I've recently created a retreat on the third floor of my house, that's only for me. It's my "room of one's own" and I love it. It's pretty sparsely furnished, with a little desk, a vintage Hans Wegner rocking chair with rush seating, a yoga mat and cushion. I'll open up the skylight and sneak 15 minutes of quiet time, doing breathing exercises to reset. Sometimes I listen to the birds and watch the clouds, and sometimes I fall asleep while meditating because I fall asleep easily and am also sleep-deprived most days. Although with work I make my own schedule, my day usually starts when the sun rises (which these days is around 5:40AM!) when my two kids wake up and unleash their boundless 2 and 5-year old energy on me. So I guess my retreat is basically where I take naps, which to me is an act of wellness.

 

 

Photo by Lloyd Stevie with styling by Lauren ShoosterPhoto by Lloyd Stevie, with styling by Lauren Shooster
  

 

 

Photo courtesy of Binu Binu

 

 

 

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?

I'm into stone palettes these days. I love how stones can appear powdery and dense, or glossy and translucent and shimmery. Last year, we started to work in marble and onyx as a part of the collection, introducing some soap dishes and incense holders. Because they are cut from stone, each piece is so unique and I find myself obsessing over individual pieces. I start to anthropomorphize them, which leads to becoming very attached to these objects that I know I need to send out into the world, to customers or stores! They're just endlessly fascinating and beautiful to me. My current favourite stone we're starting to work with is Limestone - in shades of the palest greys and creamy beiges. It reminds me of ancient architecture but also looks really fresh to me. I love it paired with Green Onyx, like in John Pawson's work at the ArchAbbey of Pannonhalma.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Vera Mishurina

 

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?

In the summer, my favourite meals are something that I can put together quickly, without having to cook. A picnic-style charcuterie plate is a perfect meal to graze on. Fresh fruit and veggies, beautiful meats and cheeses, any combination of whatever looks good. I live next to a weekly farmer's market so I load up on everything there, every Saturday morning. I'll add these excellent Spanish tinned seafood cans from La Tienda that are stocked at my local butcher shop. The razor clams and cockles are so tasty. That paired with a nice sourdough baguette with some Euro-style butter from a local creamery, is a little slice of heaven, especially with a glass of natural wine. My favourite these days is from Can Sumoi; it's an ever-so-slightly effervescent rosé. It's a healing meal in that it creates enjoyment and a feeling of gratitude.

 

 

Photo by Lloyd Stevie with styling by Lauren Shooster

 

 

Photo courtesy of Binu Binu

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?

When I feel acceptance towards myself, which is something I'm working hard at doing. I'm trying to be kinder to myself every day which I think is a good path towards self-awareness and being a true version of myself.

 

 

 Photo by Vera Mishurina

 

Sissy Sainte-Marie

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?  
Creamy curvy things. I really like to surround myself with shapes, textures, and palettes which bring a sense of serenity to my otherwise chaotic tendencies. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is something you have loved for a long time?
I have really loved creating my own recipes or adapting recipes to suit whichever health kick I’m on at the moment. When I was young, one of my intentions was to be a chef. I thought it would bring people joy. Now the idea of cooking for other people intimidates me so I only cook for myself and my husband. But when I look back at the meandering path of my life, it wouldn’t surprise me if I one day end up in the field of food and nutrition somehow.

What is something you have recently rediscovered?
Since cardio keeps my endorphins firing, I had gotten into the habit of only listening to music while I work out and that music tends to be thumping, fast tempo and with all the lyrical bravado of toxic masculinity. I recently rediscovered my love for more tender and gentle artists Daniel Johnston and Karen Dalton. I can be a raw nerve sometimes, so I was cutting myself off from music and songwriting that cuts right through and makes me feel something, but recently I decided it’s okay - it’s more than okay - its healthy and what makes me human - to let those feelings wash over me. Not on the treadmill though - mostly in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.
Well I try not to give objects that kind of power over me. The best example is sometimes I’ll wear my mom’s wedding ring from when she married my dad. They’re two people who no longer even know each other, who came together 40 something years ago, made me, and then split within a year. So that ring reminds me that since I’m here alive on this earth in this body with these circumstances then maybe I’m meant to be. That makes me not beat myself up so much. 

 

 

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
When I fall out laughing. If something or someone can tickle my funny bone that means I’m in a place where I’m relaxed enough to be myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors? 
Oh I would like to say a deep, damp, verdant forest but honestly I’ve become such a wuss when it comes to nature. At the moment, I like road trips where I can gaze at miles of rolling golden hills. 

I felt a deep connection to nature when I visited Mono Lake at golden hour in 2017. My husband and I are certain we saw our cat Beaudry, a Russian Blue who had died a couple of months before, reincarnated as a jackrabbit there. This grey jackrabbit kept hopping all around us with his perky ears and bugged-out eyes. He was real persistent and trying to engage, which was very much Beaudry’s way. Beaudry had lost strength in his back legs when he got old and now it was like he was trying to show us what a great new life he had with really powerful new hind legs. Also The Beauj always had a thing for ginger cats. His whole life he would make friends with gingers - at the cat hotel, at my mom’s house, he adopted our ginger cat D’jango when came to the backdoor as a stray. Well, we were standing there saying, “could it be?” and then this jackrabbit hops behind a rock and comes back with a rusty red cottontail rabbit friend by his side! It was all the proof we needed. An absolute miracle. We sat at the edge of Mono Lake an bawled our eyes out until the sun went down.

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance? 
I kept a nightgown I wore to spend the night at my grandparents’ house the last time before my grandpa died. I was 12. I kept it in a ziplock bag in a toy box because I thought it smelled like him and my grandparents house and I wanted to preserve that sensory memory forever. I think it is still in storage at my mom’s. I never in all my life had the courage to open the bag and take a whiff for fear it would break my heart to pieces. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?
I have a headache cure based on some Kundalini moves from Gurmukh. I plant my feet wide and firmly on the ground , then I stretch my arms out to the sides as straight as possible, curl my fingers but not into a fist, stick my thumb out 90 degrees and then do a snow angel move as fast as possible. I do it until I think I can’t do anymore, and then I do five more. Then I position my arms like goal posts and twist twist twist back and forth, again and again until I think I can’t do any more, and  then I do a few more twists. I don’t know how or why but 90 percent of the time it cures a pounding headache. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?
Yes, it’s a really simple soup that makes me feel like everything is going to be okay. 

A pound of carrots
A half bundle green onions - just the green parts
Water or broth to cover 
Sea salt
Ginger - 1” fresh 
Turmeric - 1” fresh or 1 tsp powder 
Smoked paprika - 1 tablespoon 
(you can also add celery and parsnips but I like to keep it simple and easy)

Boil this for about 20 minutes on the stove or 10 minutes in a pressure cooker
Blend until smooth
Stir in a little coconut milk 
Top with any combo of the following : fresh cilantro, jalapeno oil, black sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, lime juice or if you can top with activated-turmeric-coconut-lime-pepitas from Moon Juice, you won't be sorry. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)? 
I love to read biographies and autobiographies. I like stories of people who have achieved success despite their humble beginnings. In the last year I read 4 biographies - You’re on an Airplane by Parker Posey, Hillbilly Elegy, Becoming by Michelle Obama, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. When I was having a difficult time and did an overshare on social media , the book The Four Agreements was recommended to me so I read that.  And now I’m half way through On Photography by Susan Sontag. When I’d read her Rolling Stone interview I found her to be such an off-puttingly grumpy contrarian but I’m really enjoying this one. So much of what she was saying about photography then applies to social media today. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?
Well now I’m recommending The Four Agreements because it can really put one’s mind at ease.  Even though it is really simple advice, it is difficult advice to follow because it requires constant work and reprogramming and overcoming a lot of habits and conditioning. I still recommend it. 

 

 

 

 

What music is in rotation for you this month?
Tyler the Creator’s new album IGOR 

Anna Morton

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?
Spirals. Petals. Skin. Rocks that have absorbed the heat of the sun. The color Blue. The color Green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is something you have loved for a long time?
My piano

 

 

 

What is something you have recently rediscovered?
The healing power of scent, especially Rose

 

 

 

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.
I recently endured a very deep loss, and in the process acquired a small bundle of lavender woven into a beautiful sachet that I wear on a string around my neck. The string is quite long, so the sachet hangs near my heart, and wafts the scent of Lavender all day long. Certain scents are deeply comforting to me, and energetically protective. It’s helpful to me to have them close at hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
When I’m sleeping. After I swim in the ocean. When I’m with my sisters.

What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?
Lately I’ve been quite drawn to Spain and the Mediterranean. My grandfather is from Barcelona and I’m taking my first trip to the Balearic Islands quite soon. Apart from that, I am drawn to places near water. And the Southwest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?
My grandmother has given me some beautiful dresses over the years. One in particular that I love is a simple white linen summer dress that falls just below my knee. It came with a matching belt that you button in the back. When she gave it to me, she told me I had to wear the dress with the belt. Never without. But I like it better without. I always think of her when I wear the dress and feel timeless in its simple straight lines and modest cut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?
I take lots of walks in the hills where I live or whatever place I am visiting. Whether it’s a new or known place, I like to collect the edible / medicinal herbs and flowers that I find as I’m walking. I bring them home and make a tea with them. It is something I started doing rather unconsciously, but it has become a practice that connects me to the nature around me in a personal way. In a way that I love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?
I haven’t made this recently, but as the weather cools, I know I will be soon. It’s a simple meal of mung beans, spiced with ginger, turmeric, and shallot. I cook the mung beans with water and salt, then fry ginger, shallot, sometimes garlic, in a pan with ghee or coconut oil. If I have fresh turmeric, I fry that up too, or use turmeric powder. I add all to the beans with fresh coriander. A dollop of yogurt with lemon is nice on top. I always fall back on mung beans when I’m feeling out of balance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?
The Inner Heart of Reiki by Frans Stiene
The Space of Love by Vladimir Megré

 

 

What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

 

 

 

What music is in rotation for you this month?
Ezra Feinberg – Pentimento and Others
Tim Presley – I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk
Ana Roxanne’s EP

Cecilia Bordarampe

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self? 
As the season changes, I’m looking forward to layering and incorporating more browns and earth tones.  I continue a love affair with pleats and gathering, both in my work and personal style.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is something you have loved for a long time? 
Quiet moments in bed with crisp sheets, a cup of tea and a book
 

 

 

 

 

What is something you have recently rediscovered?
After traveling for a few weeks and returning home, I’m relishing in my favorite aspects of Los Angeles:  the rustling of palm fronds, the warmth of the sun on my face, the 1920s-40s early modernist architecture, the quality of light - especially at dusk - and returning to my routines. These sights and experiences are not new to me, but they feel sweeter and welcoming right now. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy. 

I have a small collection of chestnuts that I’ve found over the years and traveling throughout Europe.  I often like to keep one with me, either in my pocket or placed on my nightstand. The most recent one was found along a winding path in the gardens of Versailles. I heard a thump and turned around to find a fresh chestnut, still in its husk but cracked open.  The smooth round shape with it’s subtle hills and valleys is satisfying to hold and tumble around my finger tips.  It serves as a reassurance of a certain kind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself? 

When I’m alone or with people I hold dear.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?
 
Being in water always takes me out of my head, as well as seeing the horizon line above an ocean.  These places provide a sense of quiet reflection and appreciation for the natural world.

 

 

 

 

Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?  

A simple cream colored silk blouse that belonged to my mother.  I believe she wore it to work in the 1980s/90s under her vintage 1940s blazers.  I always feel at home wearing it, whether dressing it up or down. The thought of her wearing it when I was a child, both of us unaware that I would someday make it my own, feels like a special shared secret between the two of us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself? 

The one wellness act that has become quite important for me over the last year and a half is transcendental meditation.  It’s one of the first things I do every morning before becoming distracted with work or communications with others. This ritual allows me to establish a baseline of calm and sets me up for feeling centered throughout the day. Knowing that I have done at least one thing on any given day that is just for me, for my own wellbeing, is an important source of purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often? 

I’m a big fan of large hearty salads with roasted vegetables, shallots, a sprinkle of feta, olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper.  It’s so simple, but I enjoy letting the seasonal flavors show themselves and the mixture of textures among crisp leafy greens and soft cooked veggies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)? 

My Mother Laughs by Chantal Akerman and always The New Yorker magazine.

What book(s) do you always recommend to friends? 

Books and essays written by Joan Didion and a photo book of Uta Barth’s work called The Long Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What music is in rotation for you this month? 

Alice Coltrane
Ah Um by Charles Mingus
Concorde by The Modern Jazz Quartet
John Cage

 

Signs of Fall with Simplicity City

Des parisiennes Paperback – 1987 by Pierre Le Gall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York - September 1987 by Arne Lind

 

 

 

 

 

 

Princess Caroline of Monaco, May, 1985

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Des parisiennes Paperback – 1987 by Pierre Le Gal

 

 

 

 

 

“Sutorīto = Street ” magazine (mid 1990s) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Des parisiennes Paperback – 1987 by Pierre Le Gall 

Incense Through Time

Incense is comprised of aromatic plant materials burned and used for sensory pleasure, and in therapy, meditation and ceremony.

<i>Incense Box with Design of Pine, Bamboo, and Cherry Blossom</i>, Japan, 19th century

 

 

 

Over 1,400 years ago, a large piece of fragrant driftwood washed ashore on the tiny Japanese island of Awaji. Realizing the uniqueness of the marvelous fragrance emanating from the wood, island locals presented it as a gift to the Empress Suiko. With this gift of precious agarwood began a new era in Japan of refinement of — and appreciation for — the enjoyment of fragrance.

<i>Incense Burner</i>, Coptic, 4th–7th century

 

 

 

 

Coming from the Latin word meaning "to burn," some of the earliest instances of incense use were by the ancient Egyptians, who burned combustible bouquets to drive away malevolent spirits and appease the gods. The materials used by the Egyptians also held a pragmatic use of freshening a space or obscuring malodorous scents.

<i>Ko-awase-dogu-dana cabinet for incense guessing game</i>, Japan, 18th-19th century

 

 

In 2000 BCE the use of incense appeared in China for religious use, with the earliest materials being composed of cassia, cinnamon, styrax and sandalwood.

<i>Fragmentary offering list with mention of unguents and incense</i>, Egypt ca. 2051–2030 B.C.

 

 

 

 

Incense was brought to Japan in the 6th century by Korean Buddhist monks, who used the aromas in their purification rites. Soon Koh (high quality Japanese incense) found many uses in daily life - from telling time, to a popular Edo-era game of guessing scents, to the simple pasttime of Mon-koh or "listening" to incense. The use of incense and the art of its manufacture was highly specialized in Imperial Japan, with master craftsmen or Kōju working within the Ten Virtues of Ko:

1. Sharpens the senses
2. Purifies the body and the spirit
3. Eliminates pollutants
4. Awakens the spirit
5. Heals loneliness
6. Calms in turbulent times
7. Is not unpleasant, even in abundance
8. Even in small amounts is sufficient
9. Does not break down after a very long time
10. A common use is not harmful

<i>Terracotta lekythos in the form of a flying Eros with incense burner</i>, Greece, 2nd half of the 4th century B.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Material evidence of the particular fragrances used in centuries past has led modern researchers to explore the olfactory environments created by people in early civilizations. Using reconstructive archaeology, archaeologists, historians and classicists gathered for a conference in 2017 at the British School at Rome, specifically to study and attempt to recreate the ephemeral smellscapes of the past.

<i>Cup used for holding incense</i>, Italy, Late 16th century

 

The study of aromatic practices throughout history serves as a lens through which to view the ways that these past lives created sensory interventions with the world around them, accompanying art, architecture and music.

Rebecca Mapes

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?

Hiking with my dog. I think it's partially the combination of doing something that I enjoy while also doing something for my dog that makes this ritual bring me so much joy. I lived in New York for ten years and now live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was a kid the last time I had such easy access to nature, spending time outside really does center me somehow.




What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?

Organic and oval, smooth and faceted, oxblood and terracotta.



Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?

I've been really into coffee smoothies for breakfast lately. I make one with oat milk, coffee, oats, one banana, one date, and almond butter.



At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?

When I'm with my sisters.

Jess Hannah

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?

Every morning I walk around my neighborhood with my dog Ruby. More often than not I do this with my partner and it gives us a moment to connect in the morning before diving into a hectic day. When I do it solo it's very meditative. I try to observe flowers and colors instead of my phone screen. It feels very grounding to witness my surroundings at a walking pace, especially since I live in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, which is changing very quickly. It's an exercise in noticing.

Wellness has taken on a new identity under the millennial gaze. Usually, now it's employed as a justification for pampering, or a special purchase. I think if you need these things to feel well it accumulates to an overall feeling of lack. Wellness is best served when money isn't involved. Turn inwards to understand what your mind and body needs, it's a more enigmatic process but it's much more gratifying. A friend (Gloria Noto) recently told me "the aspiration to achieve balance IS balance" –– it's like a swinging pendulum, you don't ever stay "balanced" but trying to arrive at equilibrium is the important part.




















































What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self? 

I like inflated round shapes. Things that balloon outward with a smooth, shiny texture, which you could probably guess from perusing J. Hannah designs. Our secret internal name at HQ for our Form Ring I and II are "little puffy ring" and "big puffy ring," respectively. During the development of new designs, a common revision is "make it puffy".

I'm attentive to color as a sensory prompt having a nail polish line. I've been immersed in a range of savory beiges for a while now (vis-á-vis Miso). More recently I'm dabbling in off-black and walnut shades — I'm not huge on true black so this is my limit for darkness at the moment in terms of hue.


















































Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?

My mom's homemade matzo ball soup. This is not something I make often, however, because the prompt is "healing" this is most definitely what comes to mind. I like it with carrots and bits of chicken. I feel comforted just typing about it!!
































At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?

At work! This feels a bit lame to say but I suppose conversely also a point of pride—it's a sector of my life where I'm very authentic and highly in tune with the choices I want to make. Life can throw so much at you where you feel unsure or lost, but I don't feel that way when I'm working.

Martine Syms

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?  



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 What is something you have loved for a long time?

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is something you have recently rediscovered?



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?

 

I love a smoothie. I have one every morning that usually contains 1 cup spinach, 1 cup frozen fruit (whatever I have in stock), rice milk or more recently barista blend OAT MILK (so luxe), sunflower seed butter, apple butter, flax, vitamin d, ultrainflamx, maybe an avocado if i'm feeling wild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?


I just finished Lite Year by Tess Brown-Lavoie. I read it slowly and usually sitting in the sun.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?



I always recommend Women Who Run With The Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. That book has changed my life several times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What music is in rotation for you this month?

I have a monthly radio show on NTS called CCARTALKLA. You can listen to my tunes here.

Air

<i>The Perfect Home II</i>, Do Ho Suh, 2003

 

I wanted out of the past so I ate the air,
it took me further into air.
It cut me, an iridescent chord
of geometric light.
I breathed deep, it lit me up, it was good.
All these years, lightning, rain, the sky,
its little daisies.
Memento mori and lux.

 

<i>The Birth of Venus</i>, Sandro Botticelli, 1480s.

Looking out over the day, the pale performing day.
I always consult the air before composing air.

Overvest (kataginu), Edo period (1615–1868)

<i>Farnsworth House</i>, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1945-1951

The sun remains a yellow sail tacked to the sky.
I am climbing air here. I am here
in the open.
The kestrel swerves.
Its silent kerning.
A stunning calibration of nothing.
I’m left to see.

From A Winding Sheet for Summer
by Peter Gizzi

<i>Wolke</i>, Gerhard Richter, 1971 <i>Phase of Nothingness</i>, Nobuo Sekine, 1969-1970 <i>Zollverein School (VIII)</i>, Manuela Martin, 2008

“Things are either devolving toward, or evolving from, nothingness. As dusk approaches in the hinterlands, a traveler ponders shelter for the night. He notices tall rushes growing everywhere, so he bundles an armful together as they stand in the field, and knots them at the top. Presto, a living grass hut. The next morning, before embarking on another day's journey, he unknots the rushes and presto, the hut de-constructs, disappears, and becomes a virtually indistinguishable part of the larger field of rushes once again. The original wilderness seems to be restored, but minute traces of the shelter remain. A slight twist or bend in a reed here and there. There is also the memory of the hut in the mind of the traveler — and in the mind of the reader reading this description. Wabi-sabi, in its purest, most idealized form, is precisely about these delicate traces, this faint evidence, at the borders of nothingness.”

From Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers
by Leonard Koren

<i>Shōkei Celebrated Waterfall</i>, Yanagawa Shigenobu, 1820-1830

Kuoth Wiel

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?  

Nature seems to dictate a lot of things for me. I grew up in nature in South Sudan and Ethiopia, as well as during my childhood in the Midwest. I’m drawn to things that remind me of what is naturally available, for example the different colors of clay, the changing leaves of trees and the vibrant colors of beads my grandmother wore around her waist. Nude palettes of browns, reds and earth tones. 




What is something you have loved for a long time?

My journals have been with me for the majority of my adult life. I like to reflect on the journey I’ve taken as a young teenager to a woman trying to find my place in this world. It’s a symbol of the fact that I’m always developing and adapting. I’ve learned to appreciate the hardships as well the joys that come and go. 




What is something you have recently rediscovered?

Writing letters to friends and family. I learned how to write cursive when I was in school and it is now becoming something of the past. I practice writing letters and using workbooks to sharpen my skill. I just think it is a beautiful art form and who knows - it may not exist in the future with all of this ever-evolving technology. 




Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.

I have an ivory hairpin that was given to me by my grandmother. Because of my people's relationship with elephants, ivory is hugely revered, and it is passed down through generations. We believe that elephants are an honorary human due to their ability to possess strong emotion. I wore it on the flight when we immigrated to the US. It connects me to my ancestors, my old world to my new. 



At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?

I think I am authentic at every moment or at least that's what I strive to be. I try to learn from my pitfalls and see where I can improve so that I don't lose a part of who I am. Being in this industry, it can often sway you to see yourself in a way that is not you, not organic. I just know that I am from a place that has instilled pride and I carry myself with that as I am representing my culture, my people. I always feel that since I can't easily access where I come from, I serve as an ambassador to show love, capacity and how complicated my world is. 



What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?

The mountains resonate with me daily. When I first moved to LA from Minnesota, I fell in love with Colorado because of the mountains, and through the trip it always brought tranquility. I also connect with the desert as it reminds me of Sub-Saharan Africa. The dry earth, the scorching heat, and wildlife often transport me back in time. 



Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?

A pair of linen shorts. I like to wear things that feel good on my skin. Pure fabrics like cotton and silk are spread throughout my closet. I often shop for vintage slips and a nice pair of linen trousers at the various flea markets in LA. 



Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?

I have just started mindfulness meditation. I practice before a photo shoot or at random times when I feel stress coming on. It has helped me stay focused during a photoshoot or to help me get into character before an audition.

 

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?

I cook a lot of traditional Ethiopian and Sudanese dishes. My go-to recipe is lentil soup.
I saute red onion and add vegetable broth with a cup and half of red lentils. I then add pieces of ginger and turmeric along with some Ethiopian spices and let it cook for 30 minutes. Five minutes before turning the stove off I add a cup of spinach. It tastes so delicious and tastes even better as leftovers.



What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?

I just finished Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Becoming by Michelle Obama



What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?

The Alchemist, The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, What is the What, and Things Fall Apart



What music is in rotation for you this month?

Jorja Smith, 
Rose Gold by Kitty 
Solange (all things Solange), 
Don't Leave Me This Way by Thelma Houston
Amadou and Mariam
Ethiopian Jazz 
Sudan Archives

5 Things: May

Skyline, No. 1, April 1, 1978, Massimo Vignelli, Lella Vignelli. C/o The Museum of Modern Art. 

1. Reading — Design: Vignelli

A book of collected works by Massimo Vignelli, a Milan-based designer who became famous in the 80s and who designed everything from the New York City subway graphic identity to American Airlines to works for Pierre Cardin.

2. Drinking — Irinbancha tea

A tea native to Kyoto, made of twigs and leaves, and smoked with an unusual palette-clearing sensation. It smells just like a campfire! 

 

3. Viewing — A palette

Recently feeling drawn to pale lemon and white tones. We've been loving the cheerful, pale undertone of soft citron as a new wardrobe neutral, in particular pairing the crema Petit Top with to pale yellow trousers, plus a classic trench and slide-on mules (these colors are also manifesting at our studio, via fragrant and wild arrangements with Night Blooming Jasmine + Wild Chamomile-esque daisies)

Military 1 chair by Gerrit Rietveld. Lacquered Wood. Ca. 1950's. 


4. Listening — Sudan Archives

Friend, violinist, and vocalist Sudan Archives writes, plays, and produces her own music. Drawing inspiration from Sudanese fiddlers, she is self-taught on the violin and her unique songs also fold in elements of R&B and experimental electronic music.  We recently saw her play and are continuously in awe of her self possession, honest, powerful presence, and talent.

Still from the video for Paid, Sudan Archives EP, 2017.

5. Considering — Balancing creativity and work

Learning how to respect and create space for the creative impulse to bloom while keeping present with the needs of day to day life…

Color Study: Mandarin

In diving a bit deeper we were curious to learn about the significance of the color, and its evolving role, from an early use as a pigment in ancient Egyptian tomb paintings to the importing of the first orange trees from Portuguese merchants to Europe from Asia (before this there was no English word for orange, it was referred to as just “yellow-red”).


In Hinduism and Buddhist tradition, it symbolizes fire — a metaphor for inner transformation, the search for knowledge, and rebirth. Religious robes were often dyed orange with saffron; it was an extremely expensive dye, the use of which hinted at its cultural and social importance.

In art, orange’s metaphorical role shifted as the color became more common, and as citrus itself became more ubiquitous. Pops of vivid tangerine become woven into the details of impressionist and post-impressionist artists: a stripe on Renoir’s painted boats; Gaugin’s still lifes; Van Gogh’s articulation of the sunlight in Provence.

The color has varied in its context — a universal symbol of safety and attention, an alertness connected to its vibrancy. There is a range of meaning and history beneath any visual cue: a single color can hold chapters of significance when carefully considered.

Words by Leigh Patterson

Photography by Tiana Petrullo @tianapetrullo

Caring For Your Clothing

by Tabea Soriano

There is so much information available to us around sustainability - reduce, reuse, recycle - that is valid and aspirational and perhaps even seemingly unattainable in our everyday. So for this year's Earth Day, we're highlighting the proper care of clothing, which allows garments that are built to last to actually last longer, to be cared for and find a permanent spot in our wardrobes for years to come - whether you keep them or pass them on to someone else. 

A few things first: the 'does it spark joy' question is valid. However, don't mind too much if you don't wear something for a season or two. We here have collectively been around the sun enough times to say: everything comes back around.  

 





To Fit
If you love something and it doesn't fit, we recommend having a trusted tailor on call. Garments are made using brand-specific ratios and standard grade rules. Don't doubt your body - embrace it, and let your tailor make the cloth work for you. 

A word on fit, when in the dressing room: a garment should fit your widest point first and foremost and everything else can be taken in from there. For me, a top needs to fit my shoulders and chest first - my waist usually needs to be taken in. And for bottoms, my hips are so much wider than my waist and need to be considered first. From there, the waist can then be taken in. It is not uncommon at all for me to wear a 4 top and an 8 bottom. And it might be exactly the opposite for you and your body! Don't mind the numbers. Make the clothes work for you.


To Store 
If your clothing ends up in storage for a few months, take care to store it carefully. Using the methods below, clean the garments first and store them either folded or on a hanger. Most knits beg to be folded flat vs on a hanger so as not to stretch out, whereas wovens can be stored folded or hanging. Costume archivists recommend that garments be able to breathe. That can be difficult with our modern considerations of storage space and moths that prefer natural animal fibers. I recommend storage in airtight bins when clothing is not in use, with a biannual airing out and spring cleaning - unless you are able to provide a tempered and critter-free environment (lucky you). 



 

 

 

 

 

To Care For
There are a lot of garments that might say "dry clean only" that can actually be washed and cared for in other ways - not necessarily in a washing machine, but using some of the methods below. This can prolong a garment's life considerably. The "dry clean only" label is there to prevent washing mishaps that happen - it can be a kind of insurance policy for brands to make sure your clothes don't shrink in a washing machine. However, many times, we can actually "wash" our clothes and freshen them up. Many times, an air dry in front of an open window can work wonders. For all of the categories below, we encourage you to use your best judgment on what is actually needed by way of garment care. Generally speaking, less is indeed more when it comes to most of our clothes. Beyond socks and undergarments and activewear, a lot of our clothing can not and should not be washed in the washing machine regularly. 

A word on dry cleaning, before we continue: if your garments are fairly structured and tailored and say "dry clean only," there's a chance that they indeed must be dry cleaned rather than washed. This has a lot to do with the internal construction of the garment. In this case, consider a green dry cleaner, aka those that forego the use of a chemical called perchloroethylene. You might also consider a simple press or iron if there are no egregious stains and all the item needs is a spruce. 

1. Natural fibers & man-made cellulosics

All natural & cellulosic fibers are breathable and thereby less prone to smells, but usually more prone to wrinkles. Some are naturally moisture-wicking and anti-microbial. In general, they require a lot less washing than synthetics, and in the case of wovens more steaming & ironing. 

Unstructured wovens (read: unlined, more simple garments)
To spot clean: dab with gentle soap, warm water and a white or natural wash cloth
To freshen up: hang separately in a well-ventilated place or even better a balcony or terrace, out of direct sunlight + appropriate iron or steam setting 
To wash:
- Stains: remove armpit stains and smells with a 2:1 water and vinegar solution; let the garment soak for 10-20 minutes before rinsing
- By Hand: wash by hand in lukewarm water with gentle soap, like-colors only (this can be anything from homemade to Woolite to fancy)
- By Machine (less preferred): wash on the most gentle cycle, cold water, like-colors only
- Prep to Dry: do not wring, but press out excess water gently 
- Dry: hang to air dry
- Iron/Steam: iron or steam on the appropriate setting
- Examples from our collection: Tencel, Wool, Silk, Cupro, Linen (woven), Cotton Poplin, Viscose, Denim Cotton




Knits

To spot clean: dab with gentle soap, warm water and a white or natural wash cloth
To freshen up: lay flat in a well-ventilated place or even better a balcony or terrace, out of direct sunlight + appropriate iron or steam setting 
To wash:
- Stains: remove armpit stains and smells with a 2:1 water and vinegar solution; let the garment soak for 10-20 minutes before rinsing
- By Hand: wash by hand in lukewarm water with gentle soap, like-colors only (this can be anything from homemade to Woolite to fancy)
- By Machine (less preferred): wash on the most gentle cycle, cold water, like-colors only
- Prep to Dry: do not wring, but roll the garment up in a clean towel and press out excess water
- Dry: lay flat to air dry on a drying rack, do not hang
- Iron/Steam: if needed, which is rare, steam on the appropriate heat setting, not too hot
- Examples from our collection: Linen Knits, Cotton Knits, Wool/Alpaca Knit

 

2. Specialty Items

Every now and then, there is a beautiful piece that requires special attention. Below we outline a couple found in our collection. 

Polyester Pleats 
Pleats are made by folding the unsewn fabric which is covered with paper and then exposed to high heat. Polyester is usually needed for a pleated garment to hold its shape. Because the pleat itself is oftentimes so precise, care of a pleated garment is better left to a professional.
To spot clean: dab gently with a damp cloth but avoid too much water or too much rubbing
To freshen up: hang the item by its shoulders (for a top) or the waistband (for a bottom) to allow the pleats to fall back into place. Do not steam. If you're excellently precise, iron carefully on the appropriate/low heat seating, otherwise, do not iron (the pleats WILL get wonky). 
To wash:  Alas, here we recommend a very good green dry cleaner. 

Raw Edge Finishing
A raw edge is a designer's choice that means exactly what is says: the fabric edge of a garment is left unfinished, or raw. This means that the yarn of the fabric will come undone and unravel over time. Because of this, it's best not to machine wash these pieces. 
To spot clean: dab with gentle soap, warm water and a white or natural wash cloth
To freshen up: lay flat in a well-ventilated place or even better a balcony or terrace, out of direct sunlight + appropriate iron or steam setting 
To wash:
- Stains: remove armpit stains and smells with a 2:1 water and vinegar solution; let the garment soak for 10-20 minutes before rinsing
- By Hand: wash by hand in lukewarm water with gentle soap, like-colors only (this can be anything from homemade to Woolite to fancy)
- Prep to Dry: do not wring, but press out excess water gently 
- Dry: hang or lay flat to air dry
- Iron/Steam: iron or steam on the appropriate setting
- Last step: if yarns unravel to the point where they are too long or start to form a knot that you don't want to anymore, cut excess threads and knots back with scissors

Design Philosophy: Modularity

 

Tatami mat configurations comprised of modulations of identical units (typically 3 x 6 ft) - each of these units are based on approximations of the proportions of a reclining human figure

Tatami mats in use

Modular Terrazza Sofa by Ubald Klug, who set out to design a piece of seating that would provide the idle lounger with a number of seating, slumping and lying positions.

Terrazza Sofa in an alternate configuration

 

 

Eduardo Chillida's interlocking ceramic stoneware pieces - static forms, brimming with movement and tension 

 

 

 

 

Chillida's 'The Poet's House' (1980)

Su Wu

What is something you have recently rediscovered?

My baby Isadora has two bottom teeth, and each time I see them I am reminded that she is growing bigger and apart from me, that she is a being unknowable and not mine, not owned by me or by anyone else. This makes me almost unbearably happy.

<a href="https://shainamote.com/products/hira-top" target="_blank">Hira Top</a> in Crema


What book do you always recommend to friends?

Sharon Olds has a poem in Stag’s Leap that I think about all the time, about a certain feeling I know too, of being so proud of your partner and the hollow that can form around this. She remembers being on a plane, and the swell she feels when a doctor is called for and her partner rises from his seat, and then she — Pulitzer Prize-winning Sharon Olds! — wonders if he was ever proud of her; when words were needed, and she rose.


Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.

Not everything has to be your identity, she said and she’s right, of course, but then again the premise of a critic’s life: that you can figure out who you are by loving things. I have taken in more than my fair share of objects I thought would ease the sadness or keep me from harm, and I have lost a lot of things, too; things I thought I would hold near until I died, and I’m better than I used to be about letting go. However, I will say I am irrationally convinced of the power of my belly button lint — everytime I clean it out I get a cold.

<a href="https://shainamote.com/products/hira-top" target="_blank">Hira Top</a> in Crema and <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/eli-skirt" target="_blank"> Eli Skirt</a> in Crema <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/tie-dress" target="_blank">Tie Dress</a> in Pale Citron



Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?

FORTIFYING CHICKEN SOUP

Dried astralagus slices, about 6 the length of a thumb
Dried red jujube dates, 3
Goji berries, about 20, dried or fresh
Whole black peppercorns, more than a couple
Knob of fresh ginger, sliced, unpeeled is fine
Green onion, about 12 whole stalks
Chicken leg and thigh, 2 of them, skin on
Salt to taste


I made this soup for a friend recently, one week when something was going around, and now I think of it as her soup. Astralagus boosts the immune system, red dates soften the edges of moods, and goji berries grow in my parent’s backyard, and ginger warms the limbs. I put everything in an Instant Pot with 6 cups of water and some salt for 30 minutes on manual. Then the chicken comes out and the skin is set aside for the dog, and the meat shredded off the bone with two forks.

Skim the soup if needed and strain the broth into a pot on the stove. I add back in the astralagus and the jujube and goji, because I want to extract every bit of that dirt/earth taste. Then a little more salt, and plate the chicken on the side with some sliced rounds of thai chili and more green onion, and keep the soup on a simmer until it is ready to eat, because soup should be served hot enough to burn you.

<a href="https://shainamote.com/products/tie-dress" target="_blank">Tie Dress</a> in Pale Citron <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/tops/products/milo-top" target="_blank">Milo Top</a> in Crema and <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/eli-skirt" target="_blank"> Eli Skirt</a> in Crema


What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?

A decade ago I worked for the journal Critical Inquiry, which published an essay on cuteness by Sianne Ngai. I’m finally digging into the book that came out of it, Our Aesthetic Categories, this examination of minor feelings in art, like, what it means to consider something “cute” or “wacky” or “interesting.”

The whole book overflows with insight, but Ngai’s take on conceptual art is devastating: that we’ve developed ambiguous, habitual appraisals like “interesting” in response to a particular type of aesthetic proposal and its proliferation: an artwork that elicits no particularly strong feelings, but that is only meant to generate discourse about itself. What’s left over for the senses, then, and for whatever deep well inside us, is just the “cognitively minimal act of choosing,” or the value shift from artist-oriented aesthetics to spectator-oriented aesthetics — that is, from “genius” to “taste.” I mean, it was hard to breathe when all I did was read philosophy of art, but I also am happy to remember that it can be necessary, if only to hold up against the consolations I am taking, and see if I am mistaking them for a life.

<a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/tops/products/milo-top" target="_blank">Milo Top</a> in Crema and <a href="https://shainamote.com/products/eli-skirt" target="_blank"> Eli Skirt</a> in Crema <a href="https://shainamote.com/collections/dresses/products/avignon-dress-poplin" target="_blank">Avignon Dress Poplin</a> in Seaglass

Credits:

Photographer: Ana Laframboise @analaframboise
Stylist: Tessa Watson @tessawatson
HMU/Styling Assistant: Sofia Rodriguez Abbud @sofunnyface

Location: V.V. Sorry studio in Roma, Mexico City @v.v.sorry
Sculpture by Alma Allen

Nastassia Brückin

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?

The female body and the patterns found in nature have been recurring building blocks. I recently discovered silk pillowcases -- I like fabrics that feel smooth and luxurious. 

 



What is something you have loved for a long time? 

Essential oils. Neroli, sandalwood and black spruce are my favorite essences to feel a sense of well being. 

What is something you have recently rediscovered?

Paris. After 6 years living abroad in California I decided to revisit this city part time.

 

Nastassia wears the <a href= "https://shainamote.com/products/ines-trench" >Ines Trench Coat in Raffia </a>

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy. 

Half way through my recent journey trying to grow roots in California I got my heart broken twice in a row. I was house sitting in San Francisco at the time right by the Pacific Ocean, which provided a beautiful backdrop to heal these wounds but I never felt so lonely in my life. While I was debating whether to come back home to France or extend my visa I got myself a tiny gold heart necklace pendant that I still wear everyday and I have been feeling increasingly stronger energetically since but maybe it’s because I stopped looking for anchors outside of myself. 

At what moment are you the truest version of yourself? 

Three to four day after the full moon. 

 


What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with outdoors? 

When swimming in the milky blue water of the Mediterranean Sea and foraging /  hiking in high altitudes, preferably in the summertime. 



Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance? 

I do big purges and I try to not get attached to garments but I have a soft spot for impracticable shoes and have a few (very) high heels that I treasure. One of them is a pair of Lemaire pony hair round toe mules that make me feel like a fawn when I wear them occasionally. 

 

Nastassia wears the <a href= "https://shainamote.com/products/ines-trench" >Ines Trench Coat in Raffia </a>


Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself? 

This is a fun question for me because it is kind of a full time job. My sun, moon and mars are all falling in the airy and curious zodiac sign Gemini, so I tend to spend a lot of time in the ether or jumping around with incurable restlessness. Because of these tendencies practicing earthing and meditation is always a good idea. Feet on the ground and head in the sky. 


Can you share a recipe idea for simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often? 

A very instant gratification and delicious ritual I have been cultivating for a little over a year is to drink hot cacao spiked with a custom blend of adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms mixed in warm coconut milk infused with Bulgarian rose water. It helps me relax and increase resiliency. 

 

Nastassia wears the <a href= "https://shainamote.com/products/ines-trench" >Ines Trench Coat in Raffia </a>


What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)? 

I just finished reading Ottessa Moshfegh’s new novel My Year Of Rest And Relaxation - The heroine, a wealthy, fit and well-educated young women hopes hibernation is the answers to all life problems. 

The Highly Sensitive Person - a self help book I discovered at the beginning of last year that has helped me reframe most of my experiences. Learning that sensory sensitivity is to some degree considered as a form of autism was liberating. Now I can (re)learn how I can participate as a creative and nurture my friendships without draining my own supply of energy resulting in withdrawing. 



What books do you always recommend to friends? 

Women Who Run With The Wolves - we are all altered by education and the idea of sophistication so this volume is a good reminder we are still wild at heart. 



What music is in rotation for you this month? 

Hey moon - John Maus 
Clair de lune - Debussy 
Three King Fishers - Gabor Szabo 
The Big Ship - Brian Eno 
Sunshine On Fish Skin - Girls in Airports  

Barbara Hepworth at Work

Hepworth in her studio (1964) Getty Images

 

Intuitive, confident, experienced hands, carving down raw wood into refined sculpture. A testimony to expertise through repetition, this portrait of the artist allows the dance between landscape, form, and idea to organically overlap.

 

 

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in Cornwall

 

"Carving to me is more interesting than modeling, because there is an unlimited variety of materials from which to draw inspiration. Each material demands a particular treatment and there are an infinite number of subjects in life each to be re-created in a particular material. In fact, it would be possible to carve the same subject in a different stone each time, throughout life, without a repetition of form.” — Barbara Hepworth

 

Barbara Hepworth with Oval Form (Trezion) 1963 in the Palais studio 1963 © Bowness, Hepworth Estate Photo: Val Wilmer

Maryanne Casasanta

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?  

The shape of hands, and the very brief colours of a winter sunset cast on my apartment wall. Low lavender, muted grey and a soft burnt orange.

 

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What is something you have loved for a long time?

I love experiencing warm nostalgia more than anything. Remembering small moments and holding them for a bit every once and awhile. For example, I had a boyfriend who owned a motorcycle and would lace up the strap of my helmet for me whenever we would go for a ride. Just that gesture. Or a memory of building a big beautiful fire by a river at dusk on a solo camp trip to an incredible symphony of crickets, bullfrogs and cicadas. Or randomly recalling a really funny story or a well timed punch line by someone and enjoying a memory of having big laugh. Or, awakening in the middle of the night at a Berlin hostel many years ago where I shared a room with 6 other travellers and our window, left open, was slightly swaying and creaking during a loud thunderstorm. Or being on a nearly empty subway car really early one morning while another rider, a Muslim man, was singing a beautiful call to prayer.

 

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What is something you have recently rediscovered?

Optimism and a sense of possibility. 

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.

A keychain my late dad gave me with our old car keys on it that has a line drawing of a cat leaning casually, winking one eye and smirking confidently that says, "Damn I'm Good." I think my brother had originally bought it for him because my dad would always triumphantly ask us, "Why am I so good?" after fixing something using random or makeshift parts, say, around the house.

 

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At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
 
I travel for work and quite love long road trips, so I think when I'm driving I can get into this out of body state where I am totally relaxed but completely alert at once. 

What landscapes or places in nature are most resonant? Where do you feel the deepest connection with the outdoors?

That changes from place to place and time to time depending on what I need and am present for. I could be equally moved by a light blue and pink desert landscape while on a road trip as I would be by the colours of a sunset being cast over trees and gardens in my neighbourhood in Toronto. One place that I have been consistently moved and affected by over the years is time spent on the Toronto Island. A small oasis just a short ferry ride from the city.

 

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Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?

For a long time I kept a skirt that a talented photographer friend of mine took a photo of me wearing one beautiful beautiful summer. I don't have it anymore though. So at this moment, nothing that I currently own is filling that space.

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?

I have several and they're not consistent. My comfort rituals shift with the seasons a bit. Now that we're moving deeper into winter, it's really important that I stand and move on soft, warm things. My apartment a has wooden floor, so I've taken to changing into a pair of merino wool socks that were given to me by a girlfriend from a Canadian company called Icebreaker as soon as I get home.

 

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Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?

A dark bread such as pumpernickel or maybe rye, with hummus, topped with fresh basil and figs. 

What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?

I am in graduate school for educational policy so my reading list has been influenced by my research. Right now I'm reading, "School: A Recent History of Self-Organized Art Education" by Sam Thorne and published by Sternberg Press. I recommend their catalogue for any art theory, philosophy or criticism literature. 

 

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What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?

Elena Ferrente's Neapolitan series. The books are wildly popular and the HBO show adaptation is certainly loyal to the writing but I tend to recommend them more to friends who are interested in socialist or marxist politics. They are an accessible resource into Italy's rich history of workers' rights along with the shifting politic of friendship between women under intense patriarchal conditions. So many layers to unpack!

 

 

* Lauren Runions is a contemporary dance artist, choreographer and educator based in Toronto, ON. She is the founder and artistic director of I/O Movement.

A Moment in Repose: The Winter Solstice Through Time

“I think architecture is a place where one can affirm one’s existence. ... Even in Naoshima, where daylight enters the building from all directions, I want to express how we all live with nature.” — Tadao Ando. Image: Tadao Ando’s sundial at Awaji Yumebutai, Awaji Island, Japan, 2005. Image source unknown.

 

 

Chaco Canyon, New Mexico was a major centre of ancestral Pueblo culture (c. 850-1250) Many Chacoan buildings were aligned to capture the solar and lunar cycles, requiring generations of astronomical observations and coordinated construction. The equinoxes and seasonal solstices on one stone formation are uniquely marked as the “sun dagger” patterns intersect the spirals. On the winter solstice, two vertical shafts of light frame the carved petroglyph. Image: "Sun Dagger" on Fajada Butte, photo Paul Charbonneau, copyright High Altitude Observatory.

 

 

 

 

Stone ring goal in The Great Ballcourt, an ancient ritual center at Chichén Itzá built by the Maya people in the year 1400 BC. Evidence suggests that the ball games were tied with astronomical events, with one theory regarding the ball as a sun/moon in the game. Image: The Ball Court, Maya-Toltec, Chichén Itzá, Stone Ring Goal, 1959. C/o Bywaters Special Collections, Southern Methodist University.

 

 

 

 

Relógio de Sol (Sundial), 1960 by Lygia Clark. Clark’s work insisted on the sensual and material properties of sculptures, encouraging viewers to interact with objects and installations — in this piece, she invited the spectator to modify its foldable geometric shapes.

In Motion

1. “The body is a sacred garment” — Martha Graham

2. The power of movement to tell a story

 

3. Clothing as a symbol — beyond fabric and wear, articulating an aesthetic language

 

4. “I'm not so interested in how they move as in what moves them.” ― Pina Bausch

 

Early Autumn in Puglia

The main brunt of the tourists, having gone home for the summer, leave behind a pristine coastline and empty, stone cities in the interior. In this space, they can be quietly and meditatively explored.

The town of Capitolo

Travelling through Puglia in the early autumn, one can expect a mix of traces of the region's Greek, Norman, and Spanish past —  represented by twists and turns within the architecture of the region — along with nods to the modern world found in the the chintzy, 80’s hot pink motels on the coast and the sun-faded, elegant ivory homes spotting the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

Olive groves along the highway to OstuniTextures in Ostuni, "La Citta Biancha"

Moving inward to the mountains, through patches of Trullo-style homes, farmlands, monasteries, Masserias, and olive groves, expect fresh seaside air, towns from a distance that gleam like all-white palaces (namely, Ostuni, “La Citta Bianca”) and small town markets that sell a bitter orange soda called Chinotto and home made sandwiches with stracciatella, pistachio, anchovy, and squash blossoms.

Scenes from Matera, ItalyThe ancient cave dwellings in Matera date back to the Paleolithic Era.

Constructing the Narrative: The Work of Artist Valentine Schlegel

 

Born in Southeastern France in 1925, Schlegel’s oeuvre is wide-ranging, with a classical art background and output that varied from leather sandals and abstract clay vessels to wooden flatware and her best-known work: sculptural plaster fireplaces (the immovable nature of which is often cited as a reason for her lack of name recognition). Thematically, her work calls on organic abstraction, sensuous curves, and a modernist sensibility toward minimalism.

Schlegel’s art and life were intrinsically intertwined — throughout her career she bounced between Paris and her countryside hometown of Séte, the landscape and pace of which would both deeply inspire her pieces and provide a setting conducive to the inception of large-scale installations. She lived simply, centering her practice on creative independence and the settings that would allow her to both work with dedication and to discover new influences, materials, and creative collaborators.

 

Schlegel didn’t ascribe to the dogmatic “art world” system and eschewed traditional structure for the raw energy of creativity. Her work ranges in size, subject matter, and medium — work created based on immediate interests rather than the perceived expectations of an audience. Valentine Schlegel’s process embodies the act of cultivating a place and pace that allow one to thrive, however that may look. The narrative is of one’s own construct.

Design Philosophy: The Tie Dress


 

The dress features deep cut arm holes, a scooped neck, and two long straps that can be tied to the front, to the back, or to one particular side. With the label intentionally sewn into the arm, the wearer becomes the designer - a versatility that's inherent to the shape no matter what your shape. When lying flat, the silhouette appears as a vessel or vase, invoking an openness and fluidity that gives the dress its distinct character. The fabric - a tencel twill that is sustainably harvested from eucalyptus trees - is breathable yet substantial.

 


The tie dress was our first design and it remains one of our most beloved. Experiment with its form and let it be a blank canvas to inspire your day or your night, season after season.

 



 



 

“The Sky is Different, the Wind is Different”: Considering Georgia O’Keeffe as Traveler

Bruce Weber. Georgia O'Keeffe, Abiquiu, N.M., 1984. Gelatin silver print, 14 x 11in. Bruce Weber and Nan Bush Collection, New York

Japan: Conceptual Souvenirs
In the 1950s O’Keeffe traveled around India, Southeast Asia, and Japan. After she returned, she painted two views of Fujisan in shades of pastel pink, blue, and ivory, communicating a specific reflection of her journey. She also returned from Japan with a trunk filled with traditional kimonos, which she’d layer into her polished desert wardrobe.

Line drawings by O’Keeffe, inspired by the views of the earth and rivers as seen from the sky

In Transit: Heightened Perspectives
"Such things as I have seen out this window I have never dreamed – though it is more like my dreams than anything I have ever seen – a great river system of green and grey seeming to run uphill to a most dream like lake of bluish and pinkish grey all in the softest most chiffon-like colors  – then great areas of sand in soft dark wave like shapes – then a few small patches of green – all sorts of queer [mottled] shapes with a long line of road stretching across it into the sky – I really can’t tell of it but it makes me believe in my dreams more than I ever have … “ — from a letter by O’Keeffe to her sister Anita, documenting what she saw out the window on a flight from Tehran.

Images from the O’Keeffe Foundation, travel ephemera from O’Keeffe’s archives

Mexico: Locating Freedom
In February 1951, O’Keeffe drove to Mexico with a few friends. While there, she would visit with Frida Kahlo, and travel to various places including Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and the Yucatan. In a letter to Peggy Kiskadden on letterhead from the Rancho San Felipe in Oaxaca, she’d write, “For a long time I have intended to come down here so here I am. It is the first that I have felt free.” *

*Quoted “From the Far Faraway: O'Keeffe's Travel Ephemera” via the O’Keeffe Foundation

Images from the O’Keeffe Foundation, travel ephemera from O’Keeffe’s archives

First Look: Fall Editorial

Amanny Ahmad

What shapes, textures, and palettes encompass the sensory details of your present self?
I spend a lot of time in nature, in the woods, by water. The natural world is endlessly inspiring to me. All the creatures that live in it, big and small, their vibrant colors, their textures, the infinite manifestations of variables that make up rocks, water formations, plants, trees, endless variations of mushrooms. I am always collecting little pieces of the outside world, and bringing them in, to make things with, to look at, to eat, to learn from.

What is something you have loved for a long time?
I have always really loved foraging, or looking for objects, both outside in nature, for plants and mushrooms and pieces of life, and inside at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales. I think I started going to thrift stores and digging around when I was 10 years old. I have been hiking and keeping little pieces of life or learning about plants for as long as I can remember. This kind of search for a gem within a landscape filled with so many other things puts me in a very serene, zen state. It's very therapeutic and meditative for me.

What is something you have recently rediscovered?
I was estranged from half of my extended family for 15 years. We just reconnected a few months ago, and that was a very strange and interesting rediscovery of sorts. Lots of feelings to sort through and process, people to re-meet, memories to recall, places to rediscover.

Please share the story behind a modern “talisman” you own — an object in your possession that you consider either a token of good luck or energy.
My talisman is always changing - I tend to keep a few tiny trinkets with me, in my purse, in my pocket, tucked away here and there. Especially when I am traveling/moving around (which is mostly always), it makes me feel safe to have a little piece of a crystal that my mom gave me, or a medallion from a friend. Jewelry often functions in the same way, I always wear the same gold ring that I had made in Palestine some years ago. It reads “yalla”, which is a colloquial slang word that carries the sentiment of 'hurry up' / 'lets go' / 'come on'. It makes me feel at home, and reminds me of where I am from in a way that is very particular with Arab culture and language.

At what moments are you the truest version of yourself?
Always when I am near the beach/an ocean/the sea. Just to be within view of the ocean makes me feel so calm, serene. Something about seeing the coast, the edge of a landmass that I can never quite grasp the scale of in a tangible way, resets my perceptive on vastness, and makes me feel like a whole insignificant dot in the endlessness of space and time.

Can you share the story behind a meaningful garment you own — perhaps an heirloom, or something that feels weighted with a special significance?
My family has never been much into heirlooms, and I think that's partially to do with being displaced in the 1940s, and generally having a detachment to things (not a trait I have inherited). Just recently in our village in Palestine, I went into my long deceased grandmother's home, a crumbling old stone room, blanketed in 30 years worth of dust, and unearthed a tiny cloth bag covered in vibrant (after an extremely thorough washing) turquoise, mustard, and pink traditional Palestinian embroidery. I can imagine her using it to make change when she would take her wares to sell on the side of the alleyways in the Old City of Jerusalem, a time long before it was no longer accessible to my family.

Can you share a recipe or idea for a simple, healing meal that you make for yourself often?

This is my version of a simple Palestinian peasant lentil soup that I make whenever I need a quick & nourishing warm meal. This is a very rough recipe, as I usually make it up with what I have at the time.

Palestinian Fellahee Lentil Soup 

  • Red Lentils - 1 cup 
  • Shallots - A few 
  • Broth/ Water - about 2 quarts 
  • Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
  • Carrots - 1-2 
  • Turmeric - 2 tsp 
  • Cumin - 1/4 tsp 
  • Cinnamon 1/4 tsp 
  • Sumac to taste 
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Sauté the shallots and carrots for a few minutes on low in some olive oil, when they are beginning to soften add in the spices, and stir it all up. Add in the lentils, and a pinch of salt, stirring to mix them with everything else, allowing them to sit a little bit before adding the broth. Add in the broth and simmer on medium/low for about 25 minutes. Add salt to taste. If the lentils absorb too much of the liquid, add more! Cook until the lentils have lost their form, and taste and season to your liking. Turn off the heat, squeeze in some lemon. Serve in a bowl with another squeeze of lemon, a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkle of sumac and black pepper, and some fresh parsley. Also nice with a piece of crusty bread. 

Can you share more details on one act of “wellness” that brings you joy in its ritual — maybe a special tea, or a favorite walk, or another ritual that you use to come back to yourself?
My mom has this contraption called the Chi Machine that I love and use daily whenever I go visit her. You lay on the floor, put your ankles in it, and turn it on, and it basically swings your ankles from side to side for 10 minutes. This makes me feel energized, takes away back pain, and clears my mind. Otherwise I practice self care at every opportunity I have, whether it is treating myself to a delicious beverage, or a 10 minute meditation, or a bath. The world we live in requires a constant re-up on the care of the self, both in and out.

 

    What books are you reading right now (or have read recently)?
    I've fallen into the habit of mostly reading non-fiction books in the last 5 years, so my book stacks are mostly plant and mushroom identification books, cookbooks, and how-tos. On my bedside table right now are: Agriculture by Rudolf Steiner, Manifestly Haraway by Donna Haraway, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard (a classic I read years ago but am now revisiting, and think anyone interested in spaces/homes/interiors/relationship should read), and a few Etel Adnans. I'd actually love it if anyone reading this would recommend fiction to me (seriously, hit me up please.)

     

    What book(s) do you always recommend to friends?
    Mount Analogue by Rene Dumal is an interesting one. Any of Jiddu Krishnamurti's writings.

    What music is in rotation for you this month?
    I love Bad Bunny and Ozuna, Latin American Top 40 Rap & R&B is great for cooking and for summertime beach and dance party vibes. My beautiful/talented friend Okay Kaya’s debut ‘Both’ - it’s haunting, weird, pretty, lots of things. I make a mix as often as I have time that I share on my soundcloud (
    Valley Of Sound). I tend to get really into a few songs and listen to them over and over, and then they get put on to my mixes. The Individual You by T.J. Hustler has been on heavy rotation for me for months now!



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