It was a cold, dreary day. Actually, it had been a week of cold, dreary, lifeless and sunshine-less days all in a row here in Detroit. We were deep into the dull abyss of winter and I was feeling that deadly January vitamin D deficiency creep into my mentality and overall disposition. That's when I took to Facebook and asked, "Ok friends, who's going to the Women's March in Washington DC?”
It's no secret that Chris and I are avid nature lovers. From being so engulfed in the vast countrysides as we travel, we feel the sense of urge to stand as protectors of this earth. We understand that our planet is a living and breathing magical sphere orbiting the sun. And it provides such magnificent life forms and landscapes.
Always love collaborating with stylists and photographers. Sometimes that means providing Eldorado goods for really beautiful photo shoots - like this one. When an old greenhouse is the stage, vintage party dresses become the spotlight.
Love seeing models and muses treasure their Eldorado finds - like this black lace dress straight outta the Madonna Vogue days of my childhood. Claire Voyant sure does rock it well
I swear if this jacket fit me, I would have never let it go. It was the best bomber jacket I've ever seen. A 1940s original. The coolest part? In the pocket was a handwritten note that said, "Major Stanley Sealy / 384th Tactical Fighter Wing, U.S. Army Air Force." I found it in Southwest Detroit.
I just love collaborating with Monique of Alchemy Henna. Whether she's painting the windows at Eldorado, leading a workshop, carefully adorning my skin in henna or whipping up apothecary goods - we always have such a lovely time.
I've been really enjoying sharing the art and ritual of henna with others, which is why I was so honored Monique asked me to be in her video celebrating her craft.
At the tail end of January we had a such a fun evening hosting the Alchemy Henna Introduction to Henna Workshop. We dined on delicious food, drank wine and learned all things henna - including how to adorn our own bodies in the worldly techniques of henna designs. We practiced by frosting cookies and moved our way to decorating hands and arms. Monique of Alchemy Henna, didn't let anyone leave without a beautiful personalized henna tattoo and a goodie bag filled with henna to use at home.
It was a night filled with creativity, friendship and laughs. I'm so thankful Emily Berger of eeberger photography was there to capture the event.
If you missed the workshop, don't worry! We're having another Henna Workshop Tuesday, March 22nd from 6-8pm. It will focus on more techniques and designs - a perfect class for first timers or a great stepping stone if you've already taken our first workshop. Click here to find out more and reserve your spot!
Martha of Made Floral taught the ladies and gents how to craft the perfect holiday wreath, while Courtney of Katoi dished out some delightful Thai-inspired food, and photographer Emily of eeberger captured the night's festivities.
It's been a real privilege working alongside these ladies and getting to spend the evening with a group of people that possess such good vibes. It's so exciting seeing everyone be given the same materials, and yet create such completely unique and one of a kind wreaths. The smiles and laughter were definitely overflowing that night.
I can't wait for more workshops in the new year - stay tuned!
When I started off on this venture of opening Eldorado General Store - I had dreams of getting to host events, talks, workshops, and parties. Creating moments that shared creativity and talent from people I admire and enjoy supporting - especially female leading ladies. Allowing conversations to happen amongst innovative makers and doers. It was a big, exciting moment for me to see that come to fruition. Small steps to the bigger plan of Eldorado.
We were so shocked and honored that the workshop sold out in less than 24 hours. It was a full house and a great experience learning how to create our own unique floral arrangements in Eldorado vintage vases while Katoi fed us delicious treats. Below are some of the images Emily Berger captured.
Chris Miele, (aka Mr. Adventure and leading lad here at Eldorado), had the opportunity to work closely with Sfumato over the last few months and has really summed up perfectly the essence of the brand, their core values and why they've been a brand Eldorado has carried for close to a year. It's been a true delight working with Jane and Kevin as they hone their passion - creating and sharing Sfumato fragrances with others. Below are some words and images Chris composed.
Something I've come to value are immersive experiences. It's the reason why I spend days in the backcountry, months on a bicycle, or a week at Burning Man. It's the way I process my surroundings and build a foundation for creating images. This summer marked the first time I was able to have this type of immersive experience when working for a small business. To my delight the employers were also friends.
Last winter Kevin Peterson from Sfumato Fragrances walked into Eldorado General Store to give us a cold pitch about his hand-made fragrance line. Tall, quiet, and calculated, Kevin gave us a polished presentation and overview of the fragrances he had been crafting. We were hooked, Sfumato was the first fragrance Eldorado would carry. His scientific approach to scent coupled with his wife Jane's sharp eye for design made it clear that this was a couple following a passion. When Kevin asked this summer if I wanted to lend a hand helping them prep for the holiday push, I was excited to not just help, but to get a closer look at all the subtleties that define the soul of their products.
Sunday's were usually production days. Sessions would begin with a little coffee followed by cueing up the first (of many) classic rock albums on vinyl. After this initial jump start, the afternoons would carry on smooth and steady, much like how their fragrances are designed to evolve. We'd fill vials, fold boxes, cut samples, and wax seal packages for impending delivery. Tasks were delicate and precise, the pace was focused and yet relaxed. The attention to detail in each step was something to marvel at. Musical gaps between record changes never lingered too long.
I'd bring my camera, but would wait until something during the session struck me to photograph. Never had I really created images this way, but that was the power of being immersed. Actually working with the product and experiencing the environment gave me a different level of appreciation for photographing it. As much as I wanted to shoot all the intricate details that compose the actual scents (there are TONS) I tried to distance myself and point out the less defined activities that make Sfumato so authentic.
Regardless of the day's progress, we always would stop for sunset. The couple's 3rd story patio provided sweeping views from the Ambassador Bridge to the western edges of Corktown. Depending on the mood, either a fine craft brew or a freshly muddled mint julip (that's of course with mint from the garden) would accompany the wind down. Kevin has been playing guitar for years so usually he'd play a few tunes as the colors in the sky began to deepen. While it seems simple and even obvious, stopping to watch the sun fade really sets the tone for what you value.
Witnessing someone's passion is a pleasure, but getting to participate warrants another level of appreciation. As Detroit continues to make itself known as a community of builders, crafters, and creators, its important that endeavors like Sfumato are recognized. Not just for their desire to build a product, but for the reasons why they created the product in the first place. It's taking time to enjoy the neighborhood, sharing ideas with friends, and appreciating the gaps between the process that makes Kevin and Jane's vision so honest. Sure it'll always be about scent first, but it's nice to know Sfumato values the details that encompass what it means to live your passion.
Chris and I ventured into the dusty playa desert for our 4th year of mischief and magic. Our 2nd of which we spent together - living in a solar powered, air-conditioned, homemade hexagonal yurt that Mr. Adventure made us last year.
He left by car while I met him 4 days later by plane. He scooped me up from the Reno Airport and we headed off into the sunset. Anxiously awaiting what magical trip we would experience.
It's hard to sum up into words how meaningful and life changing a place like Burning Man is for both Chris and I. It's a place that really lets us reflect on how far we've come over the last year. And focus on what we'd like to achieve in the next 365 days ahead. It's a silly and strange wonderland filled with amazing people and unique situations. There is music and art. And sharing. Learning and growing. It's so inspiring to both of us.
For now, I'd like to share some of Chris's photos - his images really seem to capture that otherworldly glow that a place like the playa has. You can read his articles about Burning Man here and here.
I flew into Las Vegas and Mr. Adventure scooped me up at the airport on his drive through town. He was moving from LA to Detroit and I sure as hell wasn't going to let him have all the fun solo. A cross country cruise always deserves a co-captian. We drove through wind and rain, snow and sun. We saw some pretty amazing countrysides while I gathered goodies for the shop. Here are some shots from the road through the lens of Chris Miele.
There are some really magical places in the United States - some untouched naturey goodness that makes you really appreciate the land and all its powers. While you stand 9000 feet above sea level looking out onto the red and golden sand castle-like towers that cover miles and miles, you are immediately reminded that Bryce Canyon National Park is one of those places.
It's been on my bucket list for some time. Last year while driving across the country I couldn't quite swing the trip. But this year, as Mr. Adventure and the puppy move from LA to Detroit, it became a number one stopping point while we drive the countrysides. We experienced a beautiful yet treacherous thunderstorm, followed by the most glorious rainbow. We saw pronghorns frolicking in fields, and birds of pray flying through the clouds. Holy smokes. Wow, just wow. Uber excited to be able to cross this off the list. And I highly recommend if you're ever in the neighborhood, you should make a stop at Bryce.
“Like wildflowers, you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would” - E. V.
If you ask me why I love California, I’d simply say it’s magical. When I’m here, I’m swimming downstream - the wind is at my back and the sun is on my face guiding me along. I cuddle with puppies and ride bikes to see sunsets. And all the stresses of life fade away in that golden hue of sunlight.
Today was just another example of California magic at its finest.
Mr. Adventure and I packed up the puppies and headed to the hills of Toganga (my favorite place in LA) - a sleepy artist town tucked into the mountains. It has a distinct smell - of green grass, lush untouched nature, and fresh air. It’s so alive and downright delightful.
But today was magic on a whole other level. We were running through fields of wild flowers as far as the eye could see. They grew as tall as us. The puppies would just disappear into the brightly colored meadows and hills. We would run as fast as we could, being whipped by the overgrown flowers concealing the unchartered trails.
This is what dreams are made of.
There is nothing more gratifying than when the temperatures thaw out and become a balmy 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The world rejoices. Moon roofs open. Hair is blowing in the breeze. And in celebration, we've thrown our boots to the back of the closet and reached for the ballet flats and peeped toed pumps because those ankles haven't seen sunlight in months. All is again, right with the world. Now toss on some ripped jeans and grab your summer sunnies. It's time to crawl out of hibernation and ease your way into spring.
Here's to a hint of spring.
An oldie but a goodie. A few years ago I found myself in Puerto Rico in the middle of winter with some of my good buddies from NYC and Miami. There was surf and sand. There were hammocks and sunshine. What else does one need? Oh, and a frozen cocktail or two.
Here's the video my dear friend Fer Gonzalez whipped up a while back. In the meantime, I'll be dreaming of Puerto Rican beaches. And warm, warm breezes.
Besides catching up on pitbull puppy snuggles and riding bikes to see sunsets with Mr. Adventure, my next order of business while in LA was to scour the shops, stake out the trends and get really inspired by the boho boutiques.
Here's a little peek at my cruise through some of my favorite shops in Los Angeles.