Fall Floral Workshop with Made Floral

It was such a lovely time in the shop getting to collaborate with Made Floral, Katoi, and Emily Berger of eeberger to host the Fall Floral Workshop on November 19th, 2015.

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. 

Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger
Eldorado General Store Made Floral Katoi Emily Berger

Sfumato: Drenched in Scent

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.

Corktown views

Corktown views

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.

Wax sealed by hand. Yes, as official as it looks.

Wax sealed by hand. Yes, as official as it looks.

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. 

The turntable's reflection mimicking the music selection.  

The turntable's reflection mimicking the music selection.  

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. 

Countless essential oil vials line the shelves of Kevin's workspace.

Countless essential oil vials line the shelves of Kevin's workspace.

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.

Gol.den hour warm up

Gol.den hour warm up

Mandatory sunset send-off.  

Mandatory sunset send-off.  

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. 

Burning Man

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

 

Waiting in line with our yurt strapped to the roof of the adventure wagon. Solar panel soaking up that sun. Photo by Chris Miele

Waiting in line with our yurt strapped to the roof of the adventure wagon. Solar panel soaking up that sun. Photo by Chris Miele

The flags are the first and last signs of "home."  Photo by Chris Miele

The flags are the first and last signs of "home." Photo by Chris Miele

Black Rock City is not the kindest of environments but look at that heart and soul oozing through the cracks of the playa.  Photo by Chris Miele

Black Rock City is not the kindest of environments but look at that heart and soul oozing through the cracks of the playa. Photo by Chris Miele

Sunrises are magical at Burning Man.  Photo by Chris Miele

Sunrises are magical at Burning Man. Photo by Chris Miele

Just having a morning boogie & bloody mary. Life is good.  Photo by Chris Miele  

Just having a morning boogie & bloody mary. Life is good. Photo by Chris Miele 

Every year this artist builds different words. One year it was Believe. Last year it was Love. This year, Dream.  Photo by Chris Miele

Every year this artist builds different words. One year it was Believe. Last year it was Love. This year, Dream. Photo by Chris Miele

So much fun interactive art in the middle of the desert.  Photo by Chris Miele

So much fun interactive art in the middle of the desert. Photo by Chris Miele

The dust storms were pretty intense this year. One of the worst I've been in. Visibility was down to a few feet.  Photo by Chris Miele

The dust storms were pretty intense this year. One of the worst I've been in. Visibility was down to a few feet. Photo by Chris Miele

Pirates and mischief and magic, oh my.  Photo by Chris Miele  

Pirates and mischief and magic, oh my. Photo by Chris Miele 

Cool glowing art orb.  Photo by Chris Miele

Cool glowing art orb. Photo by Chris Miele

When you're wearing a pink sequined onesie and you find your gigantic disco ball.  Photo by Chris Miele

When you're wearing a pink sequined onesie and you find your gigantic disco ball. Photo by Chris Miele

My friends breath fire.  Photo by Chris MieleO

My friends breath fire. Photo by Chris MieleO

The inside of our yurt palace.  Photo by Chris Miele

The inside of our yurt palace. Photo by Chris Miele

Magic.  Photo by Chris Miele

Magic. Photo by Chris Miele

Taking a cruise through town.  Photo by Chris Miele

Taking a cruise through town. Photo by Chris Miele

The dance game is my favorite. And this is my favorite  picture from the dance game.  Photo by Chris Miele

The dance game is my favorite. And this is my favorite  picture from the dance game. Photo by Chris Miele

Cross Country Cruisin

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. 

Bryce Canyon National Park

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. 

Bryce Canyon National Park Eldorado General Store
Bryce Canyon National Park Eldorado General Store
Bryce Canyon National Park Eldorado General Store
Bryce Canyon National Park Eldorado General Store
Bryce Canyon National Park Eldorado General Store
Bryce Canyon National Park Eldorado General Store



Field of Dreams

“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. 

Free the Knee

...and ankle. 

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. 

 


Puerto Rico

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. 

LA Vibes

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. 

general store la
honeywood vintage highland park la
general store venice beach la
abbot kinney venice beach la
abbot kinney venice beach la
downtown la
eldorado general store detroit

Fringe Me All Night Long

You know what’s freedom? Fringe. Blowing in the wild air. Not giving a fuck where it goes. It’s an eagle gliding through the mountaintops. The wind, its highway. 

Fringe is made for big dance moves as the sun sets. For twirling through desert scapes. For hands up motorcycles rides down long dusty roads at dusk. For renegades and believers in the dream. For the people who not only question the 9 to 5 norms but rebel against them. 

Fringe is freedom. Leaving the essence of you behind. A trail of mystery and wanderlust.

Ride free, bird - fringe is all you need. 

black and white fringe
fringe
fringe
white leather fringe jacket
leather fringe jacket

Super into Psychedelics

The sun has been hiding for months beneath miles of solid gray snow clouds. The ground turned to a gray brown matter that holds leafless and lifeless looking trees. There is no sign of life form. The green is gone. And so is the red. And yellow. And purple. Color has completely vanished from the earth. Winter has stolen the vibrancy and saturation. Which can only mean... a Psychedelic explosion is on the horizon.

It’s time for a psychedelic pop of whirly colors and patterns this spring. Something that screams against the season of snow and breaks free from the shackles of wintertime blahs.

This is life. This is color. This is freedom in psychedelic form. Hear (my dress) roar. 

CAMILLA_SS1314_FROCKWRITER_3.jpg
tumblr_mtekq6fFYY1rimpa3o1_500.jpg

I can stare at stars being born for hours

Some of the most magical images are taken billions of light years away. I don't even understand that distance. Or time. But, what I do understand is that these images of where stars are born are ridiculously mind blowing.  So, if you're ever having a bad day, I suggest you stare at the birth of a star. And be grateful you have just witnessed magic happening. 

Up North Adventures

My favorite adventure dude was in town from LA for five days, and you're damn sure I made him travel to the infamous and magical place we Michiganders refer to as "up north."  Chris Miele is a nature landscape photographer, and I wanted to make sure he got to see just what makes Michigan - Pure Michigan. What better time than in the fall while the leaves are changing colors and the brisk breeze is starting to blow in? And it just so happened I needed to get a few new finds for the store. So we loaded the adventure van, Betsy, and headed out for a quick road trip - destination: mildly unknown.

I knew I wanted to bring him to Ludington because that was my summer stomping ground as a youngster. The beaches, dunes, state parks and small downtown area are just so perfectly "up north" Michigan. We also adventured through Pentwater, Scottville, Walhalla, Newaygo and Grand Rapids. With a few little stops along the journey, we camped in the back of Betsy while enjoying the fall time adventure. It was so delightful to drive down dirt roads and stumble across naturey goodness. 

Deep in the Walhalla woods with a smidge of sunshine fighting its way through. 

Deep in the Walhalla woods with a smidge of sunshine fighting its way through. 

The tide rolling in as the sun sets.

The tide rolling in as the sun sets.

Collecting feathers on Lake Michigan beaches to make dreamcatchers. 

Collecting feathers on Lake Michigan beaches to make dreamcatchers. 

The beaches of Ludington during a perfectly autumn sunset.

The beaches of Ludington during a perfectly autumn sunset.

If only I could carry this driftwood home with me...

If only I could carry this driftwood home with me...

As if the trip weren't magical enough, I found a message in a bottle washed up on the shore as I was attempting to position myself directly between the setting sun and the rising full moon. Simply magic. 

As if the trip weren't magical enough, I found a message in a bottle washed up on the shore as I was attempting to position myself directly between the setting sun and the rising full moon. Simply magic. 

Those teeth. Chomp chomp.

Those teeth. Chomp chomp.

My favorite up north place. Right before the State Park entrance in Ludington with the full moon rising in the distance. 

My favorite up north place. Right before the State Park entrance in Ludington with the full moon rising in the distance. 

Goodnight moon

Goodnight moon

Dock hangs on Hamlin Lake.

Dock hangs on Hamlin Lake.

Hit the rusty gold jackpot - Scottville shopping spree.

Hit the rusty gold jackpot - Scottville shopping spree.

Dirt roads and uncharted territory. 

Dirt roads and uncharted territory. 

Betsy. 

Betsy. 

Standing out front of the cabin where I summered as a child wearing the coziest of sweaters and the softest boyfriend beanie. Lots of memories of collecting toads, picking blackberries, making bonfires, and learning to fish happened in these forests. 

Standing out front of the cabin where I summered as a child wearing the coziest of sweaters and the softest boyfriend beanie. Lots of memories of collecting toads, picking blackberries, making bonfires, and learning to fish happened in these forests. 




Keeping It Simple

My best friend asked me to create a poster for her using this quote. I thought it was the perfect reminder of what is truly important in this world.

Throughout the last year, I focused on realigning what truly mattered to me. It wasn't a big paying job, a fancy apartment, or a closet full of shoes. It wasn't lavish trips or bottomless mimosa brunches. It was surrounding myself with positive people. Following the dream I had deep down inside of myself. And figuring out who I really am. Sometimes we need to strip away all the extras we allow ourselves to indulge in to really remember what's at the core.

For almost a year, I tried to watch the sunset every evening. It really helped me put things into perspective. Every night I knew the sun would set and it would be beautiful. And it would rise again tomorrow. And everything would work out in the end. It allowed me to take a big deep breath and believe in the magic swirling around me.

This is one of those sunsets. And these words are the simple reminder. 

ElDorado_Beliefs