ode boutique

May 2014

Designer Feature

Rhiannon Griego of The Ghost Dancer

May 23, 2014

Rhiannon Griego 

They say beauty begets beauty, which is why it makes total sense that Ghost Dancer jewelry comes from designer Rhiannon Griego. She is a total dream...and her jewelry line is the product of that dream. Hand-beaded fringe necklaces and earrings with a tribal vibe. We asked Rhiannon to share a little about what inspired her creations:

Rhiannon's workspace: where the beauty begins.

Ghost Dancer necklace. [Photo by Joanna Chattman]

How did this idea begin? 
Ghost Dancer was an unexpected journey I had not intended to walk. I was studying western herbalism and working on a line of cordials and elixirs when I met my friend Leslie Crow. Leslie is the original founder of Heyoka Leather and one afternoon, Leslie, my friend Neal and I were all sitting in a circle making little leather goods with beads and feathers. I enjoyed myself so much I decided to go to the trading post and pick up some more items and make my own adornments. I began wearing my jewelry out and friends began to order their own pieces. After the name Ghost Dancer came to me in a dream, the vision began to take place and here I am. 

Where the dream happens.

What are your 5 most listened to songs?
Tough one there as music reflects my mood and my mood is reflective upon the music. The seasons control the sound of my music musings as well but I'd say: Woman of 1000 Years and Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac, Reins by Chelsea Wolfe, Wooden Ships by Crosby Stills & Nash, and No Quarter by Led Zeppelin. I'll have to include White Lakes by Deaf Center, too as it's been on repeat for months when I find myself creatively stuck.

One (or two) things every woman should have in her closet?
Jaw dropping lingerie and a silk dress she can wear with any cowboy boots.

What's your favorite line from a movie, song, or book?
The last line from the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, "Till human voices wake us..."

If you were a piece of clothing, what would it be and what color/pattern?
I'd probably be a lace slip of black silk from the early 1930's with handmade lace of the most exquisite kind, somewhat faded in color but durable and timeless.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Just let it go--It's one of the hardest concepts to put into action but when one can practice that, everything just floats right on through and brings you to the present moment of gratitude for it all.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
This happens at least once a week. Laughter is my favorite medicine and crying from laughing so hard is what keeps me sane. 

The artist in her element.

What are your plans for the future?
Summer is almost here and I'm yearning to step out of the Urban life and head for the rivers and evergreens of Oregon. I'm quite a workaholic if one could say what I do is work, so I am focusing on having a lot of fun and sharing creative collaborative time with friends up in Portland for the summer. My latest medium of textile work is my focus so I intend on taking my loom out to the coast of Oregon, setting it in the sand and weaving with the ocean as my muse.

Featured Look

Roadside Attraction

May 17, 2014

Perfect picks for a weekend adventure!

Roadside Attractions

Vintage Skull tee by Chaser.

The Moon Clutch by Cleobella.

The Mitant Sandal by Calleen Cordero

Featured Look

Well Weathered

May 13, 2014

Lacausa jacket. Graham and Spencer tee. Streets Ahead belt. Joe's Jeans. Stela9 tote. Calleen Cordero sandals.
Love Heals Sutta Bone necklace.
Stela9 tote.

Calleen Cordeo sandals. 

Artist Interview

Helen Miller

May 8, 2014

Helen Miller

We happened upon Helen Miller's artwork the way one might happen upon one's spirit animal--unexpectedly, when we weren't even looking. In this case, it was not in a forest or desert, but at our neighbor's house: Broadside Books. Her use of tribal prints and folk art made us feel "of the same feather"--and her feathers are so pretty! Helen graciously agreed to bring materials and help us all make our Spirit Animal journals. Her background as a teacher made it all the more fitting. Meet Helen:

How did you get started?
I have created art ever since I could hold a piece of chalk. My very first artwork was drawing the letter H over and over again on the chalkboard of my play kitchen. I spent more time in the art room during high school than any other class. The school ran out of possible art classes for me to take and had to make up some independent studies. I knew I wanted to be an art teacher by the end of high school because I enjoyed helping the other students as much as I enjoyed creating my own art. 

What do you love about your job?
I am both an artist and an art teacher. I work with students in grades 7-12 at the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School in Orange, MA. While I love creating art, I love teaching art even more. Every day I get to be with students who are just discovering art. They are exploring their worlds and deciding who they are going to be and it is awesome to watch the process. There is never a dull moment in teaching. I know it sounds corny (and it is) but I am regularly inspired by my students. Some of the students face major challenges at home but they still show up and learn and I am forever impressed by their resolve and strength. It’s not all serious, we all laugh regularly in the art room; sometimes it gets a little wild. Great art is created, despite students’ lack of experience. They approach projects in ways that open up my artistic thinking. The constant learning that accompanies teaching pushes me to try new things in my own artwork.

Creating art for me isn’t a job but a form of centering and I really like that. I prefer to have my artwork be something fun and relaxing rather than my main source of income. I have the best of both worlds.

Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration comes both from nature and my interest in anthropology. I am an avid hiker and love living in the pioneer valley. I frequently paint and draw the world around me. While at art school I became very interested in the connections between peoples. I love comparing and contrasting art and visual culture from different cultures. I even designed an art course for my high school students that specifically looks at the connections between cultures’ traditional art in order to promote tolerance and understanding.  

I am especially drawn to “tribal” patterns. For the animal designs on my note cards cards I was inspired by the patterns found in the folk art of the people who live where the animals live. For example, the seal and penguin designs are based on the patterns found in Inuit art and the elephant is inspired by designs I found on African masks.

What is your dream project?
My dream project changes all the time. Currently I would like to weave a large landscape tapestry of the pioneer valley based on a photograph I took from a hot air balloon.

What are your plans for the future?
I am going to continue to teach and make art, other than that I really have no idea!

If I wasn’t doing this, I would be...
If I weren’t an artist/ art teacher I would be a research biologist or maybe a medical doctor. Art and science share a similar curiosity about the world and how it works. They both explore new ideas and things not yet described or seen.

If you were a piece of clothing, what would be and what color/pattern?
I would be my favorite blue Avengers sweatshirt. It is really comfortable and I love the color.

What is your favorite word, and why?
Periwinkle is my favorite word, (as well as my favorite color), because it is fun to say.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Be fearless, and if you can't be fearless fake it till you make it! (Thanks for the advice Mom!)

Featured Look

A Belle in Blush

May 8, 2014

Cleobella Nora Dress. 

Lacausa racerback slip. 

Calleen Cordero Lars Bag.

The Harper scarf by Gentle Fawn.