November 22, 2012
Inspired by our "Mystic Muses" lookbook, we decided to take nature--and its magic--indoors. Our very own Thea created these woodland creatures out of feather, faux fur, and a little superglue. Our model and scavenger extraordinaire Natashia brought in her collections of bones, and our well-dressed woodland window was wonderfully realized.
November 8, 2012
Elizabeth Stone is a contemporary realist painter based in Florence, MA. She is an active and lovely addition to the community of artists who live and work in the valley. Every time we see her she is preparing for a show or supporting a friend's opening. We are endlessly inspired by the women creating their mark. This Friday, November 9th, join Elizabeth as she opens at the Center of the Arts in Northampton with her show, Dress/Undress.
"My background in fashion has finally merged with my passion for art. A favorite red party dress appears as if disembodied in a pastel painting. It reappears in a triptych called "Striptych" unbuttoned and slipping to the floor and it finally emerges in 3-D as a floating white muslin dress. Clothing has always been my artistic expression and is now the subject of my art."
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in my husband of 32 years who has taught me the value of family; in my friends who live with a sense of adventure; and in art which reveals life's unknowns to me.
What is your favorite line from a movie, song or book?
I collect phrases about art from whatever I read. My current favorite is "Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight" from the book My Name is Red by Orphan Pamuk. A quote from Coco Chanel about fashion is another favorite: "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."
If you were a piece of clothing what would you be and what color/pattern?
A silk charmeuse slip that skims the body and is the color, scent and temperature of skin would be the most satisfying garment to be.
What's the best advice you've ever gotten?
"When in Rome do as the Romans do" is the advice I heard over and over again from my mother when I was growing up. It has served me well as I've moved from place to place and traveled around this country, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Include a photo of something or someone that inspires you and can you tell us why?
My parents in their late 80's getting sweeter with age in spite of failing health inspires me.
November 7, 2012
Nicole Racicot is a goddess of a woman. Sure, she's got the flowing, sun-drenched locks and a year-long golden glow that seems to come from within. But that's not just it. There's something both other-worldly and down-to-earth about her, with a spirit as expansive as it is generous. In fact, she's bi-coastal in that generosity--traversing other continents to help those in need. She infuses her Coco Bijou jewelry collection with as much beauty and grace as she does her life. What else can I say about this woman? She's got a ridiculously cute kid, a dirty sense of humor, and she's not afraid to wear shorts in winter. Northampton, meet my best friend. -Kristin
How did you get started?
I was making these beaded wrap rings for myself to wear out on the town from time to time, when a local shop owner asked if she could carry them in her boutique. I was thrilled! I quit my job in Alaska two months later. I then took metalsmithing classes and began melting metal to create whatever my heart desired. It was immensely fulfilling.
What do you love about your job?
Apart from the satisfaction that I get from imagining, drawing, designing and then creating my jewelry, I think I am more in love with the freedom it affords me. I am able to set my own studio hours, spend heaps of time with my 18 month old daughter and my super deluxe husband, and really experience a good balance of work and family. It is a lovely set up.
Where do you find inspiration?
It’s all about the women that I create for! I am endlessly inspired by women – their grace, their foibles, their tendency to be vulnerable, their capacity for immense heart and overwhelming beauty.
What are your plans for the future?
I would love to continue studying metal smithing and expand my body of work to incorporate more techniques, more GOLD, more luscious gemstones. I would also love to close up shop for a bit and go live in New Zealand for a while. It seems like such a magical place!
If I wasn’t doing this, I would be...
…volunteering internationally! I would love to work on project Cagayan de Oro in the Phillipines, help in the continued efforts of post-earthquake Haiti, even in the hurricane Sandy recovery effort. I would love to be a nurse so that I could help in a medical capacity – that would be amazing.
What's your favorite line from a movie, song, or book?
“She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously.” —The Grapes of Wrath
The image that this line cast on my brain is everlasting. I felt that it spoke to redemption and the innate kindness that lies within all people. In the bleak darkness, there was this ray of hope. My die hard optimism really appreciated that.
If you were a piece of clothing, what would be and what color/pattern?
Something champagne colored, sequined and beaded… heavy and complicated and luxurious!
What's your go-to "happy" song?
Float On by Modest Mouse
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
My mother said, ‘true friendship endures’. It was a reminder to me that relationships ebb and flow…but the real deal will always stand the test of time.
What super power would you like to have, and why?
I would fly! I have dreamt about it all my life and it is always such a magical experience…so freeing.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about yourself?
Rachel McAdams. I love her.
When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
About three days ago, my sister was telling me that her husband got the stomach flu and was really putting his whole body into getting sick (he is kind of dramatic about these things) and I was laughing so hard that my face was contorting! A couple of hours later I called my sister back and apologized for my blatant insensitivity…I think it was my hormones.
Please include a photo of something that inspires you.
I have two. I couldn't decide. One is woman/jewelry centered and the other is a genuine life inspiration that is ever present for me.
This photograph inspires me to showcase the lightness of women…the natural, whimsical, individual beauty in each of us. I want to celebrate our organic curves, our powerful spirits forged by our own unique experiences, our deepest loves, and our most tender connections with our children and other women. This photograph is pure grace. It is sensual and it is strong. I can only hope to create jewelry that pays homage to these qualities within each of us.
Every time I see a photograph of a soldier saying goodbye to his or her family, my heart lurches in my chest. This sacrifice, made by so many Americans, is so humbling and so admirable. It amazes me that someone would be willing to leave their family behind to protect our nation's freedoms, to protect me, my child, my family. Gratitude pours from my heart when I see these photographs and read these stories.
This photograph, along with so many others like it, inspire me to live more fully, more in the moment, with more love and generosity. They inspire me to continue sending care packages to our troops, with letters of thanks and stories about my life and what extraordinary moments they are protecting.
For your chance to meet Nicole and shop her collection join us on Arts Night Out, Friday, November 9th from 6-8pm.