Zen and the Art of Reinvention

Karen Schwartz  |  Business Coach and Consultant  | Advocate for reinventing ourselves 

Karen Schwartz  |  Business Coach and Consultant  | Advocate for reinventing ourselves 

This month I would like to introduce you to Karen Schwartz-Clover. Karen is a business coach and consultant who asks her clients to feel their way through decision making processes instead of thinking...and thinking...and stalling on decisions. Her philosophy is simple and straightforward and has helped ...............


In an age where everyone is trying to “manifest” his/her reality, I think I have learned some key points that are worth sharing. Creating a life and business that are nourishing, congruent, and sustainable has everything to do with physically feeling your feelings and using them to clarify what feels good and then taking strategic action. Wishing for something is ineffective.

Many years ago I began an apparel brand and garment manufacturing business. It was successful and grueling for a time. I longed for a mountain house, a cabin on a lake in the woods, and a little country cottage. All of the homes I daydreamed about were peaceful and quite the contrast to the urban flat I chose to live in to afford transition time to figure out what was next for me.

Once the inspiration hit, I set up a little office in a corner of my small space and started getting clear about my new business. I worked diligently and executed each step.  When things became too hectic, I would venture out to a nearby bookstore and look through design and decor books about rustic modern homes just so my mind could breathe. There were many sleepless nights back then --worrying about deadlines, design details, cash flow, and dysfunctional relationships. Thankfully, I was able to move into a perfect little house on stilts on the water on the San Francisco Bay.

The view from Karen's living room window overlooking Mount Timpanogos in Utah. | Photo credit: Milano Liberi

The view from Karen's living room window overlooking Mount Timpanogos in Utah. | Photo credit: Milano Liberi

On my very impassioned journey following my business vision, I met a man who had been busy building his dream houses.  I remember the first time I saw this house that I now call home.  I was in awe standing on the porch looking out at the mountains. I thought how great is the Universe --bringing my heart to the builder of a house with a view of our business logo, a mountain that looked like a woman. And, there right in front of me, was a mountain that looked like a woman, Mt. Timpanogos.

Breathe and Purge
After two and a half years of dating we decided to merge our lives. My dear friend Nicole, whom I met when she helped me get our first business loan, accompanied me in a U haul packed with furniture, art, and lots of high-heels to the mountaintop in Utah.  When we arrived, we looked around and wondered what I had done! The vestiges of bachelorhood overwhelmed me. My future husband had built a bar on wheels that he had positioned right in front of the big picture window obscuring the view. Nicole and I quickly named it, “The Monstrosity.” There were four lumberous outdoor bar stools ponied up to it. Then, there was a whole other series of bar stools alongside the concrete countertops. The rest of the décor amounted to a couple of stained and ripped couches, tropical plants, deer antlers, and fish nets draped “decoratively”.  Goodbye eight ugly, enormous barstools and ripped couches!

Get rid of clutter. The energy must flow. Out with the unnecessary! Often times, in life and business this pruning can take the form of a partnership or friendship. When you are growing a beautiful garden, you weed!

The Monstrosity Theory:
We decided to move the “The Monstrosity” into a corner and ended up using it at our wedding. It seems less ominous now with smaller bar stools around it and is often the place we gravitate to at the end of a dinner party.

You don’t have to get rid of the big, ugly thing obstructing the view. Move it to its new purpose. The Monstrosity Theory may relate to the talent you hire, a marketing or a design idea.

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Clutch your Teacup
Keep in mind that this co-creation business happens at its own pace! If it is done right, it takes time and most importantly, it takes lots of cups of tea or bike rides or hikes or yoga classes while tuning into your thoughts and feelings.   In a culture that says “Do! Do! Do!”-- I find that the most productive way to make business and life decisions is by Being. This lesson was hard earned!!! If I had grasped the calm, centered and emotionally aligned feeling that is necessary before making good business decisions, I would not have spent many years with sleepless nights and a crazy-making life running myself ragged in the rag biz..  

Do yourself a biggie---Feel into your decisions and don’t rush knowing what you want. And, while you’re at it, make sure it’s not just your head that wants it. Your feelings know what is healthy for you!  Let your emotions be your compass.  Take the time to explore your motives behind your ambitions. Ask yourself if it is ego gratification or success-seeking that is hiding behind the curtain. Figure-out if what you want is something that will actually nourish you.

Pondering Couches:
I pondered couches. Should they be chocolate brown? No, they should be black. Should they be leather? Yes, leather. Modern lines, black leather with big grommets. Then, one day while I was running errands in town, Norm (my husband) found the perfect couches, exactly as I had imagined, at a consignment store.

Pondering Couches is how I recommend pondering business decisions and life choices. Should I go this way or that way? Remember, when you have a big vision of where you are going, your job is to figure-out your next step. Next-step analysis is your key to success. It is your best tool to keep from getting overwhelmed and giving-up.  In this small and focused place, The Universe can co-create with you because you are tuned-in and not scattered.

Waa-La
The very day I decided I needed a cow hide rug for our living room, my rep called and said, “I have a black and white cow hide rug in my garage that my husband really wants me to get rid of; I’ll send it to you.”

Time and again, I follow the process of taking the time to feel-into what is next, and the perfect item, person, or situation appears. I stopped being amazed years ago and am now just grateful each time it happens.

Take a chance on a scary dog.
One night during a blizzard four years ago, I was home alone and was startled by a black wolf-like dog staring at me intently through the glass door. She was wet and cold and nearly starved. I took a chance and let her in and named her Maggie.  She has been a wonderful addition to our lives. Maggie had spent years sitting in a hole in the ice, envisioning her perfect family and a comfy bed by a roaring fire.

Calculated risks can pay-off. Your job is to DISCERN a calculated risk versus a careless risk. Careless risks reek of wishful thinking. 

Next!
At this point, the lesson seems to be about knowing when the cycle is complete and understanding it’s not about perfection.  If we focus all our energy on pondering couches or the perfect rug so to speak, we will miss out on all the new adventures waiting for us.

The process of starting my new business and dreaming of a life in the mountains has come full circle.  I am grateful that we live in a place where we grow our green drinks and curious moose stop-by.

Lessons I’ve learned along the way:

1.  Feel into your decisions.

2.  Don’t rush knowing what you want.

3.  Get rid of clutter. The energy must flow. Out with the unnecessary!

4.  Clutch your teacup and ponder.

5.  Take a chance on a scary dog.

6.  You don’t have to get rid of the big, ugly thing obstructing the view. Move it to its new purpose.

7.  Know when the cycle is complete.

8.  Understand it’s not about perfection.

Karen Schwartz-Clover

Karen Schwartz-Clover is a business consultant and coach. She specializes in business strategy, crossroads decision making and next move analysis. 
For more information she can be reached at: karensc111@yahoo.com 

 

Simply Elegant | Meet Cashmere Lover Catherine Robinson

Catherine Robinson |  Founder & Designer of Catherine Robinson Cashmere  |  One of Catherine’s favourite photographs taken by her daughter Victoria on a wonderful ‘mother and daughter’ holiday in Croatia

Catherine Robinson |  Founder & Designer of Catherine Robinson Cashmere  |  One of Catherine’s favourite photographs taken by her daughter Victoria on a wonderful ‘mother and daughter’ holiday in Croatia

Catherine Robinson is the designer & founder of a line of beautifully made cashmere knitwear and accessories of the same name. I was so pleased to happen upon her shopping site last spring and ended up following her blog: Cashmere Lover . Not only does she have an eye for design, I love what she shares on her blog about style, meditation and yoga. I asked Catherine to share with us how she how she started her business and where she finds inspiration—our conversation naturally led to her other passions, meditation and yoga. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. 

Q: Catherine, It seems that we all cannot get enough cashmere these days! Can you tell us what led you to start your business?

A: On a London shopping trip in the Summer of 2010 I purchased two lovely linen ponchos they were my favourite pieces that Summer…which got me thinking how wonderful this design would be in cashmere, I couldn’t find any that I loved and I thought, okay, I’ll design them myself!

My daughter had left home, things were changing…I was approaching 50 and thought it was the perfect time to start something new. I’ve always been interested in fashion, I did a little modeling in my younger days before entering the fast and exciting world of public relations but ‘style’ and the 'art of dressing well’ has always been something I’ve enjoyed…I devour magazines, exhibitions, photography anything related to the art of style!  

My next step was to find a manufacturer; a company I could work closely with.  Mongolia was my first choice as in my opinion it is simply the best cashmere. It was important that they were able to work with my ideas and designs and I’m happy to say I have a wonderful relationship with them and I’m thrilled with their attention to detail and the beautiful pieces they make for me.

I feel, I’m exactly where I should be and it’s such a privilege to be involved in the ‘world of cashmere’.  I’m enjoying creating a brand and extending my product lines. I like to listen to my customers and what they would like…this year it was…”please, please design a cashmere robe” and it’s just arrived and it’s simply gorgeous…the perfect luxurious, loungewear!

I think some of us feel we’re restricted by boundaries—many of them of our own making…I feel if you have an idea, a passion, explore it and see where it takes you. I have learnt so much since I began, the ups and downs of a small, growing business, the highs and lows and the constant energy and creativity needed and I can honestly say, I’ve loved every minute of it…

'if you are thinking about starting something new but are not sure whether to
‘bite the bullet’ I would encourage you to do just that, don’t be afraid
just listen to your voice and slowly begin.'

Q: I love what you write about simplicity and elegance. Can you tell us how you view style vs. fashion?

A:  I think there is a huge difference between fashion and style…everybody can follow a fashion but style is very individual…it’s all about ‘you’ it’s creating your own style, what works for you, what compliments your character, your personality, how you live your life…being identified by a signature piece, a scent they all contribute to your sense of style; for me, it’s definitely wraps and scarves, I can’t leave home without them! Friends can’t quite believe what I can do with a scarf!

I don’t think my style has changed that much over the years…I still adore my wide pants and v neck sweaters (cashmere, of course!) jeans and jackets, knitted dresses and boots and elegantly long dresses.  I’m definitely an Autumn/Winter person…
I like to wrap myself in cashmere, a cashmere wrap and ponchos are my favourites…
a tailored coat and trouser suit too.

Personal style is something that grows with you through the years, for me, I do believe ‘less is more’, a simple elegance…when you see an elegant lady she is timeless; that is why Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly are still very much revered today…one of my favourite quotes from Audrey Hepburn is ‘elegance is the only beauty that never fades.

Q: While you and I were writing emails back and forth our conversation moved almost seamlessly from cashmere to style to yoga. What can you tell us about your experience with yoga? 

A: I have been practicing yoga for over 13 years now and it is an absolute joy and passion of mine it has simply changed my attitude to life, this hasn’t happened overnight it has been a process, a journey.  

In recent months my meditation practice has become simply, a way of life, I began to believe I really could make a difference in my life if I meditated daily, learning mindfulness and simplicity. I am constantly learning and will continue to be a ‘lifelong learner’ both yoga and meditation focus your mind, they quiet the inner noise and you begin to live mindfully and to simply ‘be’ and from this you begin to live a much happier life, a life of simplicity.  Yoga, for me, has always been a spiritual discipline, a life practice.

Q: Your blog Cashmere Lover features some of the most beautiful and iconic women in the world. Who do you find the most inspiring?

A: Victoria Beckham inspires me, she has her critics, unfairly, I think…she works unbelievably hard, she has created a phenomenal brand, her designs are elegant and new…she always looks beautifully groomed and stylish and is a wonderful Mother too. I admire her because she re-created herself and endured and continues to endure all the criticism and personal attacks with such grace.

Photo provided by Catherine Robinson

Photo provided by Catherine Robinson

Audrey Hepburn inspires me greatly…her beauty, her grace, her humility…the list goes on and on…her way of being and kindness inspires me to be the best person I can be. Her life was far too short but still today so many people think ‘what would Audrey do?’ She is incomparable.   

My husband inspires me, he has taught me so much over the years, he has always been so encouraging and has taught me to believe in myself, he has such an enthusiasm for life, which I admire greatly...we’ve been together forever and in all that foreverness, I’m sure that’s not a word, he’s always made me laugh, we laugh more now than ever and that is a wonderful gift to have…he is my soul mate. And my daughter,Victoria is an inspiration to me, she makes me want to be a better person…she is the joy of my life.

Q: What is the single most powerful lesson you have learned along the way? 

A: ... to have faith and be honest with myself, not to be afraid to ask for help, it’s taken a long while to recognize and believe that ‘I can do it’ ...it may take awhile, there maybe setbacks but with faith and a belief in yourself you can see that it will all be okay…I take this into my daily life not only in business…and to be kinder to myself, I use to be very good at ‘beating myself up’ I’ve erased the negatives!

My Life Philosophy…Be in love with your life every minute of it…
live simply with grace and humility, be gentle and kind and always mindful to others
Catherine Robinson in her office in the UK

Catherine Robinson in her office in the UK

To read more about Catherine, please click on the links below: Cashmere Lover  |  Catherine Robinson Cashmere Site  |  Facebook  

Catherine, Thank you for sharing your insights and story with us! 

The well designed garden this fall

Designers and architects will tell you that it can take up to 5 years to make a house feel like home—to reflect your taste and sensibility. I've always liked that idea because it gives us permission to let things evolve over time to fit our needs and lifestyle. 

It seems that with most homes design challenges pop up unexpectedly and require a change of direction or a new way of thinking. This happened last year when I learned that we needed to remove one of the most beautiful trees on our property. It was a tall aspen and had been planted too close to the house nearly 20 years ago. In the mornings the birds just outside our windows would wake us with their chirping and the branches were large which allowed for privacy in the front windows. But, the tree grew in height and girth to the point that it constantly hit the roof during winter storms, removing shingles and damaging the roof line. I was determined to save the tree (joking that we should move the house back one foot!) as I had grown attached to this giant quaking aspen that shimmered at the front of our house. It also covered the front in a way that I appreciated, softening the look of the wood exterior. After calling in several experts for a 2nd, 3rd and even 4th opinion I had to concede and the tree was taken down, the stump removed. After mourning the loss of the tree for weeks and feeling like the house was all too bare in the front I began my search to figure out how to solve this new and unwelcome design dilemma.

I researched fountains, bubblers, sculptural garden elements, and kinetic sculptures. My research took me from summer into fall and I quickly realized that the autumn months are indeed the best time of year to purchase water features, plants and trees as everything is on sale. So if it seems like gardening season is winding down, it is, but the deals to be had in the fall make it an enticing and cost effective time of year to add to your garden wish list. Before purchasing I looked around for a fountain that had a hint of the warm terracotta colors found in the stone on the house and patio. I ended up finding just the right thing at a nearby nursery although I was also considering some great options online. I also wanted something on the tall side to have some substance in the space vertically without being too big or overpowering. In the above photo you can see my final fountain choice.

Steps for installation were easy:
1. Smooth the dirt and compact it with a shovel so it is very firm. If there are any roots remaining you will want to pull those out as they can cause the dirt to settle as they decompose. 
2. Purchase a large slab of stone from a quarry that will hold your fountain. I chose a wide cut stone that spread the weight over a larger section for greater stability over time. I saved the stone shown below from our back patio renovation but you can go to a quarry and hand select one.
3. Have the fountain delivered and placed on the stone so you don't have to hoist it on your own. I needed help with this as each piece of dyed concrete was very heavy. It took 4 delivery guys to put this in position. 
4. Your pump will fit inside the center with a tube that will run down to the bottom. An electrical cord will come out of the groove at the base. 
5. You will need nearby electricity to plug in the fountain and you may want to consider a timer that will turn the feature on and off, otherwise you will plug and unplug as needed.
6. Fill the fountain with water and you are ready to enjoy the birds that will be coming to visit as well as the sound of the water at your entry or on your back patio.

Planting around your fountain:
Choosing your plants and laying them around the garden is the fun part. In this particular case I was working with north facing exposure with little sun in the morning for a short summer season and cooler temps in the spring and fall months. There are very few trees that would survive in this spot so I opted for shade loving plants keeping in mind that I wanted to layer my plants from short to tall, have some flowering options mixed with lots of foliage and mix the blues and greens. 
When searching for your plants keep in mind that the same way we talk about color, texture, layering, pattern and solids for designing in the home can also apply to designing our gardens and planting beds. The plants you choose for your garden will depend upon where you live and the sun/shade exposure of your particular garden. It always helps to look up your zone in local gardening books and speak with an expert for your climate at your local nursery.

This is one of my favorite gardening books:

Or this one below for more waterwise gardening:

Design decisions for planting:
Layer your plants!
• In the Front of the garden I chose to plant a border of a small gray-blue ground cover that grows a few inches tall and looks great near boulders and rocks. It has small blooms that come out early summer. 
• Second layer: I chose a taller growing ground cover that fills in quickly called Bishops Weed. I didn't have to add much as it is an aggressive grower requiring that I thin it out through the summer so it doesn't take over the other plants. It has a lovely green/white variegated leaf. 

Third layer around the stone: Look for taller growing plants with some blue-toned leaves to compliment the greens in front. I put in 3 Hosta plants, all with different color leaves that have a lovely purple floral shoot in the summer. 
• Lastly, I sprinkled bleeding hearts and a few ferns between all of the green to add color. Next I will be adding small stones behind the fountain and around the stepping stones that lead to the water faucet. 

Mixing it up:
• If possible purchase your larger plants in odd numbers— 1, 3, 5, etc. unless you are creating a border.
• Look for plants with red, blue, blue-grey leaves to arrange around your green leaf plantings—this will add a nice visual relief for the eye. 
• Scale: look for variation in size of leaves and size of plants to create depth in your garden. 


Happy fall planting and fountain hunting!

Here are links to a few of my favorite fountains:

Wayfair: Gorgeous and In different finishes

Hayneedle: Love this one

Restoration Hardware: On Sale Now

 

Color Trend for Fall: Dramatic Reds

Cultivating Personal Style
Like many of my friends I enjoy flipping through fashion magazines and wandering through beautiful boutiques and high end retailers to see what is new. It is exciting to see what designers are coming up with and add a few pieces each season. Before shopping for anything new it is a good idea to know what you have in your closet that can work as a staple as you add in new pieces to build upon what you already have. Style unlike fashion, is an extension of who we are and once we have a sense of our own style it becomes easier to cultivate our look.

Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess
~ Edna Woolman Chase

Style starts by embracing all the funny, funky, unique parts of ourselves instead of seeing clothing and accessories as a means to an end or a way to cover up an unaccepted part of our bodies that might reveal some "imperfection".  For me style is not serious at all, it is a form of self expression and helps me create order in the chaos of style options that surround us at retail.

In the vast ocean of brands, styles, fabrics, price points and virtually endless options how does one create their own personal style? I recently had a great conversation with Growing Bolder Radio where we began a discussion of how to go about this. I love the idea that we all can cultivate our own style by embracing what is unique and beautiful within ourselves. The first step is to recognize ( and then clear out) the old mental clutter of negative self-talk, that for many of us is decades old. Then we can get on with the the adventure of uncovering what our personal style is all about. When asked about style, one of my favorite contemporary designers, Rachel Zoe stated that: "Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak." Brilliant!

Recently, I have been having fun putting together several trend boards for Fall 2015. This first one, above, Dramatic Red is a collection of gorgeous looks with classic lines. Although they are on-trend for this coming season they are also timeless looks. You can click on the image block above and it will take you to a shopping site to see those specific pieces or you can just look for similar items and colors when you are out shopping. 

Dramatic Reds 
Last January Pantone© announced that Marsala was their pick for the color of the year. It seems it is also the color this fall season with a variety of reds to choose from. Click here to see the Patina & Hue article about Marsala from last January. I have long adored red for its fun, upbeat vibe but deeper shades within the red family (burgandy, wine, marsala) are timeless and elegant. Some of these darker reds veer toward  purple so you will want to make sure to try on a few hues to see how they look against your skin color. These dramatic reds would look amazing paired with camel, tobacco, navy, denim, gray, warm whites and black. Have fun looking for a dramatic red piece to add to your wardrobe and tell us in the comments section below if you find something amazing!

Happy Fall and thanks for reading.

Pamela

1970s Denim Revival + Metallic Accents

I love that designers are finding merit in bringing back trends from the 70s. As a baby boomer I look back fondly at music, cars, furniture, and clothing from that era as it feels nostalgic and familiar. From a style perspective it seems newly relevant. I remember sporting jean shirts with denim bell bottoms (back in the day) and feeling good about it! That was decades ago and over the last number of months I’ve seen this long forgotten trend reappear. Not everything that is back in style is on my must have list however. I  am saying “NO!” to EVER wearing culottes again and “Never!” to several other trends like see-through dresses and enormous polka dots! There are so many amazing style trends this spring and summer like blue & white, white-on-white, safari, color blocking and gingham to name a few that will outlast the more trendy alternatives.

One staple that I’ve loved for years and highly recommend is the shirtdress—it is casual yet sophisticated. You can belt it to highlight your waist or wear it without a belt and let it hang more like a shift. I appreciate the structured shoulders and like the idea of a shirt sleeve that can be rolled up. There are many designs and styles to choose from and if you find one you love but feel like it is too short, wear it as a tunic with a slim pant or leggings. Accessorizing with metallics like longer necklaces dresses it up a little and this look is lovely with a casual straw handbag or espadrille wedge.

Last year we wrote about ways to wear boyfriend jeans (see the article: Fear No Denim: Boyfriend Jeans) and received texts and emails from women stating that they thought this was a trend for 20 somethings and they were excited to give it a try. Although the fashion world is indeed youth-centric I don’t let that stop me from finding what works for me and then having fun. Boyfriend jeans are comfortable, casual and completely appropriate for women of all ages.

Above you will see a Denim Revival + Metallics trend board that I put together. It includes a couple of shirt dresses and some fun jewelry and shoes. All of this is inspiration for a look that is easy to wear and with these pieces in mind you can get this look by “shopping your closet” first and then shop for any remaining items you still need.  Additionally, you can click on the images above and they will link you to the shopping site.

If you love the 70s as much as I do send me a note and tell me your favorite item from that time period. I’d love to hear from you on one of my favorite topics!

 If you have a  moment jump over to the Patina & Hue 1970s Pinterest board!

Thank you for reading,

Pamela

 

Scarf Obsession + Ideas to help you incorporate Scarves into your wardrobe

Calling all Accessories Addicts!
As trends come and go scarves remain a classic wardrobe staple that can be worn for years. We are both obsessed with scarves of all hues and sizes, vintage and new, low end and high end. It's not just the yummy, oversized cashmere or modal versions that keep our necks warm in the winter months that we love but also the smaller sizes that can be worn year round, are light weight and dress up an outfit as a sophisticated and playful accessory. 

How to implement scarves into your wardrobe: 
For a simple wrap on the crown of a hat: align the middle edge of the scarf with the crown in the front and lay the scarf over the hat, holding on to each end. Fold the edge under about an inch and wrap the crown, centering the scarf so that the fabric falls evenly on both sides of the hat. Next, pull the two ends toward the back base of the hat, overlap the extra material that is now covering the hat and tie the two ends at the base, allowing the ends to fall down your neck/back. 
Butterfly Wrap: Take a larger scarf and fold it in half lengthwise—then take the ends that are together and tie them in a small, simple knot. This can work with a 36" scarf or one that is much larger. You will have one knot on the left and one on the right. Then lift the scarf and place your arms through the two holes you just created with the knots....and you have a "butterfly" sleeve wrap
Loose Neck Wrap: Wrap a thin scarf around your neck and tie it so the ends drape down your back, ideally you have a little skin showing between the scarf and whatever you are wearing. 
Halter Top/ Blouse: Take a scarf that is roughly 36" square and tie it as a halter top. There are accessories you can purchase that make this easy or you can just tie two ends together at your neck and behind your back. This looks great with a blazer.
Purse Wrap: Wrap a purse handle for a punch of color. Fold your scarf so that it is about 1 1/2" to 2" wide and line it up with the edge of one side of the handle. Holding the end in place, overlap the scarf as you begin to wrap the handle. Make sure to run the wrap over the start of the scarf to hold it in place—leaving about an inch or two of the end sticking out. Keep wrapping toward the opposite end of the handle and leave room to tie it off and allow a bit of the scarf to stick out. Ideally the two ends match in length. This may take a couple of tries but looks great when you get it!
Scarf with Pearls: Grab a strand of pearls and a smaller scarf, intertwine the two and tie at the back of the neck. Twist the scarf tight enough so that the pearls are held in place by the scarf. A trick to making this work is to keep twisting the scarf around the pearls so the scarf "catches" and holds the end of the necklace within the twists. You can also use a long strand of pearls with a longer scarf and once they are intertwined you can wrap the scarf around your neck twice and tie in the back. 
• Camera Strap: Remove a beat up camera strap and replace with a scarf instead. In this case we used a vintage scarf to go along with an old camera. 
• Choker: Roll or fold a lightweight scarf to the desired width. This is simple, just tie to the back or side. What makes this a chic look is to dress up a sun dress or sleeveless blouse by leaving a little skin showing!

Keeping it all organized: If you have a collection of scarves that are folded on your shelves or placed in a drawer, it is easy to forget about them. We recommend hanging them along side your clothing so you can easily reach for one when needed. We found these great hanging systems (below) at Bed Bath and Beyond. 

What scarves can do for you:
If you haven't been one to accessorize with scarves this post is for you! This often overlooked accessory can add personality to your outfit, or dress up a your basics:

1. Scarves add a pop of color to your neutrals.
2. They can be worn as a necklace, a choker, a hair accessory, a belt, a blouse, a cape...and more.
3. The artwork on scarves can be unique and beautiful in addition to being seasonal and fun.
4. You can spend a little or a lot depending on your needs and tastes. But you do not have to break the bank to collect a few great pieces. 
5. You can find new or gently used, designer scarves on the REAL REAL, EBay, Tradsey and other like sites. If you want to add a vintage or retro designer scarf to your collection we recommend reading about how to spot an authentic Chanel, Hermes, or other designer scarf. There is a great article titled: A beginner's guide to collecting Hermes scarves that gives you a little history and information on this designer label so you can make the best decision when shopping on a consignment or resale site. Do your research to make sure you are not purchasing a knock-off. 
6. Add an updated design or color trend: Jump over to Growing Bolder to see our newest article on Spring Styles as we have a few vibrant choices that we love—all under $100. 

There are endless resources to learn new ways to wear scarves. If you have not collected them in the past or they have gone overlooked in your wardrobe, we want to apologize ahead of time for introducing you to this little addiction! 

Below are a several books we recommend that feature design as well as ways to tie scarves.  
Have fun and thanks for reading! 

P & M




 

 

 

 

Shopping for floral pumps for spring: a personal first!

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I have a confession—I've recently been daydreaming about floral shoes! If you know me—the last thing you would ever have expected [ in a million years ] is to hear those words pass my lips! I called M and asked her if she owns / wears floral shoes and she texted back a photo of a very tired pair that have not been worn in decades. So we are both now on a mission to find a pair in the next month. How have we gone this long without these little lovelies? No one in my life would ever expect to see me turn up at a lunch or party with my feet adorned in a floral print and it is for this very reason that I am moving full steam ahead on choosing the perfect pair! I will post my final decision early May on Instagram at: pamelaquigley. Please follow so you can receive the feed. 

I have several very good reasons for needing [translation: "justifying"] this purchase: 
1. I could wear them to lunch with friends or my hubby during the spring and summer months. They would look gorgeous with linen palazzo pants or white jeans.
2. I can pull on any old pair of denim jeans with this shoe and look totally put together. I'm thinking bellbottoms which allow only the front toe to show would be a great look.
3. If I have an upcoming wedding or other formal event I will be prepared ahead of time!
4. I love being tall on date nights as my hubby is 6' 1" to my 5'3".
5. Any of the florals will look great with dresses I already own: summer brights as well as neutrals.
6. I don't have any floral heels or pumps YET and will only buy them if they don't hurt my feet!
Gotta feel good to walk in!

If you are considering adding this feminine look to your wardrobe check out some of my "research" to the right and email us at Patina & Hue with photos of floral shoes you have or are thinking of getting. We will add your photos to our post early May! Happy Shopping!

Charming + Ethereal Paper Sculptures by Artist Duo: Papier à êtres®

photos:   ©Fabrice Besse

photos: ©Fabrice Besse

photos:   ©Fabrice Besse

photos: ©Fabrice Besse

photos:   ©Fabrice Besse

photos: ©Fabrice Besse

photos: ©Fabrice Besse

Several years ago I had the pleasure of attending a production in the Paris Opera House. Sadly, I cannot remember the name of the opera I saw that evening but I was struck by the luminescent, and ethereal paper sculptures that were perched on either end of the large scale counters in the lobby. It just so happened that over the next few days I would see the unique sculptures again in shop windows and in a gallery in downtown Paris. They were so lovely that I had to know more. 

About Papier à êtres
The award-winning artist team Sophie Mouton-Perrat and Frédéric Guibrunet have worked with paper for over a decade—each in their own way. They met in 2007 and by 2008 they were collaborating on "common creations, lighting sculptures, diaphanous and light."

Sophie attended art school and began working with paper by folding iand creating in paper mâché. Frédéric graduated with a degree in chemistry and is self-taught in paper-making. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and the United States to find the best techniques. He works only in white.

To create the Mademoiselle series (see photos above) Frédéric develops the lower part while Sophie shapes the top, figurative part. It is a true collaboration of talent and skill. 


"He structured the paper, she poetized it.
She exhibited in Paris, he in Toronto,
they met to Brouage.
And there was born the union of two beings of paper.

Since their works were outdone (Toronto, Paris ...) and seduced :
the gallery of the Opera of Paris, Charmey, TAAJ, Fleux
the Museum of the decorative arts of Paris,
the gallery Talents, Van Cleef & Arpels ...

Their works are long-lasting, realized with attention
and respect for the pleasure of their buyers."

A GLIMPSE OF THEIR STUDIO WHERE THEY MAKE UNIQUE,   ALWAYS ONE OF A KIND  PIECES, IN WHITE LINEN PAPER.     PHOTO CREDIT:   ©FABRICE BESSE

A GLIMPSE OF THEIR STUDIO WHERE THEY MAKE UNIQUE, ALWAYS ONE OF A KIND  PIECES, IN WHITE LINEN PAPER. PHOTO CREDIT: ©FABRICE BESSE

PAPIER À ÊTRES® is featured along with other artists in this beautiful book. Click on the Title below to see a preview and where to get it!

PAPIER À ÊTRES® is featured along with other artists in this beautiful book. Click on the Title below to see a preview and where to get it!

Thank you Sophie & Frédéric for sharing your beautiful and inspiring work with us. We are huge fans and are daydreaming about a life size piece in our homes one day! What began as my simple inquiry for a table top sculpture has developed into a complete fascination—bordering on obsession!  
There is much more to see from this creative team—if you have a moment jump onto their website. Visit the PAPIER À ÊTRES® site HERE / Facebook Page HERE     
All photos ©Fabrice Besse. 

P&H Interview for 1010 Park Place

Pamela + Marianne in Texas |   1010 Park Place  article | photo by  Jennifer Denton

Pamela + Marianne in Texas |  1010 Park Place article | photo by Jennifer Denton

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We are always on the lookout for style savvy blogs that are focused on women 40+ and love what 1010 Park Place is doing. So it goes without saying, that we were thrilled when this New York based shopping site and blog invited us to be featured in their style section. If you haven't had the chance yet we highly recommend you jump over and stroll through their: Style Inspiration, Brenda's Blog and see the fabulous finds in the 1010 Park Place Shop. Thank you to the 1010 Park Place team for featuring Patina & Hue, it was very fun!

To see the our interview click here.
All photos ©Jennifer Denton

Clutch Crush: Tesler + Mendelovitch

 variety of wood finishes  offered on these gorgeous geometric clutches by  TESLER + MENDELOVITCH 

 variety of wood finishes  offered on these gorgeous geometric clutches by TESLER + MENDELOVITCH 

Textile artists: Tesler and Mendelovitch in their studio

Textile artists: Tesler and Mendelovitch in their studio

African Clutch

African Clutch

Great White Clutch

Great White Clutch

Ebony Clutch

Ebony Clutch

Question: What is more interesting: a unique artist made handbag or a big-name brand bag? 
P&H answer: Tesler + Mendelovich

Yes, it is easy to fall in love with a handbag made from Italian leather like Gucci's latest leather and bamboo backpack, or a chic Chanel or Bottega bag.... but it is even more amazing when you fall in love with an artist made handbag. In addition it isn't the most expensive handbags (or jewelry, or shoes...you get the idea) that consistently draw attention from friends. It is 99% of the time something that is well designed, unique and often not well known that leads friends to ask "where did you get THAT?". M and I both share a love of artist driven design and fell head-over-heels for these T + M clutches several years ago. They are high design and a splurge we highly support! If you do not currently own a wood clutch this is the one to get.

WHO?
Tesler + Mendelovich are a Televivian couple who met in school and work as a textile team—developing materials that they transform into products. There clutches can be seen online and come in a few sizes with a wide variety of wood options. The largest one "Great" is very large so make sure you look on their site under "Reviews" to see the scale of a few of the "Great" pieces. Each clutch is sent in a sustainable handmade wooden box for storage (see image below). 

See a short vimeo on this dynamic artist couple here.  Visit their site to see their complete line here. Each clutch is made upon order with a 6-8 week turnaround time. Orli let me know that they ship all over the globe through FedEx. Delivery takes between 24-48 hours once shipped. 

"...once the clutch has been picked up by courier we send the client a FedEx tracking link as well as a digital lifetime warranty and care guide which is a digital PDF booklet (sent by email) that contains information about their chosen wood, a care guide and also has the clients personalized catalog number for future reference."

If you end up ordering please let us know what you think in our comments section. Also-wooden handbags/clutches have gained in popularity over the last few years. If you know of an artist who is making unique, high design bags please let us know.