Archive for the ‘general’ Category LOVES

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Seven years ago when I started my business, I made these boards that I hung above my desk. They are still there because my message hasn’t changed:



I also wrote out my Mission and Goals at the same time. I see it every day because it’s pinned to my vision board behind my desktop. Here it is word for word:

1-To provide alternatives to plastic bags through reusable market bags, produce bags, biodegradable bags and reusable sandwich wraps ( I don’t like most biodegradable bags anymore since they pollute the environment, unless they are made with 100% natural materials like corn or natural starches. I do believe in composting all my vegan kitchen scraps and turning them into nutrient rich material for my garden).

2- To provide support to cooperatives around the world, as well as connecting to their cultures, and raise awareness of their struggle to overcome many challenges to survive.
(I still feel this way and look to support women’s cooperatives in my store and when I go shopping).

3-To provide products that provide shelter and care to our animal friends, with birdhouses, bee houses, and non-toxic shampoo for dogs, a scratch pad for cats and several books celebrating animals. (Sadly, I didn’t succeed at having a section devoted to pets since I found it difficult to find products I wanted to carry. I donated the dog shampoos since then to an animal shelter).

4- To provide a selection of non toxic home care products to teach and encourage people to rid chemicals from their home environment with natural alternatives, such as Bon Ami cleaners, natural sponges and non toxic dryer sheets. (I have stopped carrying many of the cleaning supplies because they are now widely available in most supermarkets, including the classic and wonderful Bon Ami line. I have also learned how to make my own cleaning products for a fraction of the cost of buying them in the store).

5-To provide sensible educational materials, games and books for parents to share with their children. (I still feel the same).

6-To provide inexpensive products that help you save money and energy through using less water and electricity.( I still carry these products and have learned new ways to waste less water).

7-To provide support to businesses that are making useful products using recycled materials.( I still believe this very much so and have always shown my support to small businesses that have come up with a wonderful and healthy alternative to a conventional product and especially when they use innovative and creative ideas in reusing, recycling and repurposing materials).

Clearly, seven years ago I didn’t know about how laden with toxins women’s beauty products are or I would have offered a non-toxic skin care line right from the start. It took me a few years to find one that I really love, which is Odacite’. I use it every day. In fact, I still won’t carry a product in my store that I wouldn’t use myself.

My updated wish list is as follows:

* That all paper products are made from recycled paper, whether it’s books, magazines, school and office supplies, home supplies such as Kleenex, paper towels and toilet paper

*That all beauty and skin care products are made free of chemicals

*That all cleaning products are non-toxic

*That as many products as possible are made using recycled materials

*That all food is grown without the use of pesticides, chemicals and are GMO free

*That we reduce and remove the use of plastic in our lives, and instead use reusable market bags, reusable produce bags, glass storage containers for food and glass water bottles.




Monday, December 31st, 2012

It gives me peace of mind to be as ready as I can be in the event of an emergency. The following list is what has been recommended to me by a professional in the field of emergency preparedness. The information applies whether you live in a house or an apartment building.

These are the items each of us should have ready in a backpack near the front door, or underneath your bed:
*Cash ( in small denominations as well as large) and credit cards
*Social security card
*Drivers license
*Medical records


*Change of clothing for each member of the family
*Toothbrush & toothpaste
*Body lotion
*Kleenex & toilet paper

Also: Family photos, and if you have a pet, you need a leash and a photo of your pet.

**Water is so vital: Store 1-gallon containers, which have a 1-year shelf life. You will need 1-gallon per person per day for 7 days. If you have a swimming pool, that water is only good for bathing and for flushing toilets. You can get a special spigot at a hardware store that attaches to your water heater, which filters out any waste. Use that water for cooking.

*Learn how to shut off the water main using a water-shut off key.

*Stock up on enough food that will feed you and/or your family for at least a week. Supermarkets only carry 3 days worth of food, so if there is any emergency, food stores will get empty very quickly. The brand Mountain House makes emergency food that has a long shelf life like.

*Buy a camping stove that uses Butane, which has a very long shelf life

*Buy Glo-Sticks or lightsicks which are an excellent source of light and can last 12 hours. Get the kind that has a lanyard so you can hang them on doorknobs when there is a power outage. They have a 2 to 4 year shelf life. Having plenty of light helps everyone feel safer.

* Alkaline batteries are a good investment because they have a 7-year shelf life

* Hands free headlamp is excellent to have, and a waterproof lantern as well

*A corded telephone that plugs into a jack in the wall is essential. When power goes out, the telephone will still work.

*Invest in a smart phone solar powered-battery charging unit

*If you don’t have water, you won’t be able to flush your toilets. Keep a box of trash bags, and put one in your toilet, and then…add cat litter to it. Keep waterless hand cleaners nearby.

*Customize your own first aid kit with all the things you need from antacids, to Advil, band-aids, lip balm, Neosporin, gauze pads, ace bandages and sting wipes.

*Buy a fire extinguisher and keep it in the kitchen. Every 6 months, turn it over and bang the bottom with a rubber mallet. It shakes up the dry material a little and increases its lifespan.

*Update all smoke detectors with new batteries and recycle the old ones

*If you live like I do in an Earthquake area, apparently the safest place to be in a room is in the corner

* I never thought about my car, but you should keep a bag in there as well with a change of clothes, water, food, light-sticks, and a window breaker in case you are stuck in your car.

*Back at home, if you don’t know already, find out where your gas meter is and learn how to turn it off. In the event of a power outage, do not light a candle until you know there is no gas leak anywhere.

* Last thing: Have an emergency plan. Discuss it with your family that in the event you have to evacuate, everyone knows what they are supposed to do. Kids should each have am emergency bag under or near their beds with extra clothing and a book or/and toy.
You also should put all your important paperwork such as the title to your house, home insurance paperwork, bank records, birth certificates, drivers license, mortgage papers, onto a flash-drive.

I hope this list is helpful to you! I’m definitely motivated just by writing it to get better organized.
Several of the items I mentioned are available for purchase through my Amazon store, which you can get to through my website

Grafting versus GMO’s

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

As we get closer to election day, and the airwaves are blasted with negative ads about Prop 37, GMO’s are very much on everyones minds and confusion as well. In fact, one point in particular was raised to me that I found to be quite thought provoking: haven’t we always been altering plants for our benefit, so what’s the problem? It’s true that we have been altering plants through grafting, but this is very different from genetically modifying a plant:

* Grafting has been practiced for thousands of years and does not change the genetic make-up of the two plants that are being joined together. Grafting is a propagation technique that each of us can do in our garden, and has never been found to be harmful to the plants or to anyone eating them, even after hundreds of years of testing. The plants most commonly grafted are roses, tomatoes, cucumber, eggplant, watermelon and fruit trees, especially apples, cherries and olive trees. The image below shows how a plant is grafted to another:

To learn more about grafting:


* A GMO, or genetically modified organism is a technology that is done in a laboratory, by scientists who take genes from one species and transfer them to another, changing the genetic makeup of that organism. The transferred genes are primarily from plants but occasionally the scientist breaches species barriers set up by nature by using DNA from animals. The most common genetically modified  foods are corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets, Hawaiian papaya, zucchini and yellow squash. GMO’s can also be found in meat, eggs and dairy products from animals that have eaten genetically modified feed.

To learn more about GMO’s:

Did you know… that over 50 countries around the world, including the UK, France, Italy, Australia, Germany, China and Mexico already label genetically modified foods. Only the USA and Canada do not require labeling of genetically modified foods.



Did you know…  voting Yes on Prop 37, we actually won’t pay more for food since companies change their labeling constantly. 75% of Californians said they would vote for mandatory labeling of GMO foods. Each of us will be able to make informed choices  and avoid the potential health risks of GMO’s until more research on their long-term effects can be done.




Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

I was recently in the south of France, spending time with my beloved grandmother of 93 and visiting some of the places where I grew up. The years I spent there have had a huge impact on me and my life and still inspires my work, my aesthetic and my lifestyle.

My grandparents house at the foot of St Paul de Vence where I spent a lot of time and loved it

The absolute classic french car

Where I took my grandmother for lunch-We had a delightful time together

Pretty menu from La Colombe D’Or

My grandmother and I leaving the restaurant, and I am holding my very favorite blue market bag. It comes everywhere with me!

The national flower of this part of the south of France: Mimosa, which was at it’s peak when I was there. I was so lucky to see them in bloom.


I’d forgotten about all the lovely fountains in the villages

The streets are charmingly narrow in the old villages



Monday, February 13th, 2012


We are not alone when we live from a place in the heart

Painted Heart by John Baldessari, seen in Los Angeles…


Wood Hearts seen at the lovely Livia Firth’s store near London, Eco Age…


LED Heart Created and shot at my home studio using LED lights from my store…


Metal Heart  from Mexico…



French Heart art project….


LOVE created in my home studio…


Crazy Love shot at my home studio…


One is not loved accidently, one’s own power to love produces love

-Eric Fromm-

The Conference Of Birds

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011


Today when doves

echo in soft matching notes

coo coo   coo coo


that is me, writing.


when the woodpecker

batters his head

into the same tree


until the hole

is big enough

to stuff his acorn


or the thrasher

standing king-like in the madrone

his crass notes a rasp in spring air


that is me, writing.


when the hummingbird

makes his sky circles

with the loud pop at the bottom


that’s my exclamation!


my despair, the red-shouldered hawk

sawing the sky in half

with his screams———


kee-yer   kee-yer  KEE-YER


when the loud scolds of jays

greedily push at the feeder

knocking seeds from the stand


and the faint treble of California quail

cluck in the underbrush

shy and tentative……   chicago  chicago chicago


and even the rip sound

of the perigrine pulling

feathers from his kill



discarding, and selecting



when the mocker, boisterress with longing

jumps from his branch

in acrobatic turnings


and the warblers query

witchita  witchita witchita which?

glitter-flashes of gold in the oaks


when the violet-green swallows,

chi veet chi veet, sew the sky back together 

wih their darts and swoops


we are flaunting

scolding and cooing

show offs, saying

look at me, look at me .                             


-Wendy Wilder Larsen














Three Days In Maine

Friday, May 6th, 2011

I just returned from 3 days in Maine, where Spring is taking it’s time. Lovely Daffodils and Fiddlehead Ferns were poking out here and there.


If I hadn’t gotten lost in the hayloft of the big barn, I would not have seen this view from above.

View from the hayloft

The wood is just starting to look nice on my old playhouses.


Loving Maine a whole lot.

Kings and Queens of the butterfly kingdom

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

I just had the most magical experience! In a forest outside Santa Barbara, California, I saw Eucalyptus trees dripping with clusters of hundreds of Monarch Butterflies. If they weren’t huddled in many teaming clusters, they were fluttering around overheard, warming their orange and black wings that were sparkling in the afternoon sunlight. So beautiful!

Found on the forest floor

It was wonderful to be able to walk on such biologically rich land that has been preserved and protected in such a way that these exquisite creatures can breed in peace before they migrate, the same they have been doing for hundreds of years in the natural rhythm of nature.

Did you know…that a female Monarch lays 700 eggs, and which she deposits one at a time on the bottom of the leaf of a milkweed. The eggs are glued on with a paste and a special scent that says to other Monarchs: “No Vacancy.”

Long shot of a cluster of Monarchs

If you are interested in learning more Monarch Butterfly facts:

Nature is amazing.

Jamie Oliver

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

” If change can be made in this country, beautiful things will happen around the world. If America does it other people will follow.”

-Jamie Oliver-

Jamie Oliver aka The Naked Chef, is the uber British food revolutionary extraordinaire. In his quote I posted above, he is referring to the food revolution that needs to happen in the USA.

He is currently in Los Angeles, filming his show “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” and according to the news: “Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef turned food activist, was forced to halt the filming of his ABC show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution at West Adams Preparatory High School in South LA last week after he couldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t make the district look bad on TV.”

Food Revolutionary

Mighty Hazelnut

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

I was in Paris early fall last year, and chanced upon a cache of fresh Hazelnuts at a little marche’, which I scooped up into a paper bag. Three days later, I was still eating them for breakfast, mid morning snack or really anytime snack. I loved that they were still in their natural Hazelnut wrapping, which I had to peel back to the hard shell, which I cracked open to reveal the raw and pure Hazelnut inside. Hazelnuts have many health benefits, such as being rich in folic acid, enriching red blood cells ( essential for oxygen transport throughout the body), and provide the body with proteins, which are considered the building blocks for the formation of tissues and muscle mass. Hazelnuts are so delicious too!

Mighty Hazelnuts