clothes reporter : rain, rain, go away

April 2, 2015

Since noticing a dramatic uptick in recent views for an old post I did on rain boots a few years back, I’ve decided to post an update of items – not just boots – guaranteed to keep you warm and dry this spring.

First up are jackets. If I’ve learned anything from spring, it’s that layering is a best practice and a water-resistant top layer is your best line of defense. Hoods are a must as well, especially here in Portland where an umbrella immediately marks you as an outsider (or you know, someone who just really wants to stay dry – more on this in a sec). After years of choosing coats and jackets with crazy color schemes and busy prints, and countless episodes of walking around the city feeling crazy self-conscious as my jacket and outfit fought with each other to the death, I’ve decided that anymore neutral is generally the way to go. Made for wet weather and topped off with a hood, my picks are from local line Bridge & Burn and ethically-minded Everlane -

Everlane Aonrak | Bridge & Burn Warbler Jacket | Bridge & Burn x One of a Kind Macleay Jacket

 

Back to umbrellas, I’m going to go ahead and throw one into the mix for the hell of it. As a Portland native, this whole ‘Real Portlanders don’t use umbrellas!’ nonsense is silly to me. I used them throughout my teens and twenties and only gave up in favor of hoods a few years ago after I kept forgetting them and realized one day, ‘Oh wait, my coat has a hood!’. If you wanna use one, I won’t judge – at least, not so long as you don’t crowd me off the sidewalk with it. In fact, this bubble styled umbrella is perfect since it’s takes up less space and arguably provides more coverage from rain -

americanapparel_bubbleumbrella American Apparel Bubble Umbrella

 

Ok, it’s rain boot time. Fondly recalling the first pair I purchased as an adult just a few years ago, I might argue that rain boots are one of the best inventions modern society has come up with. Prior to that purchase, I wore ballet flats sans socks year round. It was a pretty common occurance for me to misjudge the depth of a puddle, or just not even notice it, resulting in cold, wet feet for the rest of the day. Which is not even the worst of it when you realize that it can take hours or even days for your shoes to dry out. I’ve definitely had to retire a few pairs that did not hold up to being submerged in a murky puddle and really, who can blame them? I’ve chosen a variety of boots, and though my own beloved Boden boots are nearly identical to the Joules Printed Wellies below (minus the pink and printed with images of Parliment and Beefeaters), I would like to stress again the benefits of a neutral color scheme -

Tretorn Elsa Rain Boot | Joules Evedon Rain Boot | Ilse Jacobsen Rub 01 rain Boot

Joules Printed Wellie Rain Boot | Chinese Laundry Reckless Rain Boot | Ilse Jacobsen Rub 02 Rain Boot

 

Finally, in the vein of umbrellas and hoods, sometimes a hat is just the ticket for keeping your head dry. Convinced I was not a “hat person” I finally found one that suited me last year and it’s been a wonderful addition to my outerwear wardrobe. Here are my faves -

Woolrich Water Repellant Outback Hat | Yellow 108 Harvest Hat | Yellow 108 Canyon Hat

 

I hope this has been helpful – stay dry out there and remember, summer is coming!

miscellany : you’re welcome edition

April 1, 2015

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Oh K-Dramas, it’s been too long. After a sitting through a few unfortunate series (Cunning Single Lady & Cheongdam-dong Alice, which I never actually finished) I decided to revisit the holy grail – Boys Over Flowers. Based on a Japanese manga of the same name and considered the end all be all of K-Dramas, Boys Over Flowers was my introduction to the weird, wonderful, and wacky genre. Not for the faint of heart, BOF runs for 26 episodes, each clocking in at 65 minutes.

I still fondly recall the summer I spent obsessively hunched over my ipod touch, ‘borrowing’ wifi from the Starbucks by my work just to squeeze in as much watching time as I could on my lunch break and all the nights I stayed up way past my bedtime, giving myself permission for ‘just one more episode’. How could I not be obsessed with story highlights including Jan Di’s comically over-the-top performances, extreme bullying by dudes who call themselves ‘Four Flowers’, forced makeovers, fantasy shopping sprees, kindnappings, roofied drink plots, psychotic mothers ruining peoples lives, arranged marriages, and of course, always weepy Kim Hyun Joon …

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I sat down last night and started right up at the beginning and oh man, it’s still as amazing as I remember. While watching the first episode again, I had a few thoughts…

Our heroine Jan Di is so goonish and exaggerated, I’m not sure who is supposed to identify with her. Sure she mostly does what’s right in the face of immense Korean pressure to look the other way while rich people do as they please but ugh. How unfair too that the dudes look amazing with their Raquel Welch do’s while poor Jan Di gets stuck with an infantile Prince Valiant bowl-bob. I mean, just look at this getup they style her in for a beach vacation. Someone hated her …

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Back to the first episode – where are all the teachers?? Students regularly gather in groups of 30-50 to watch the latest outcast get humiliated and beaten and no authority ever shows up to stop it. This school is for the richest 1% of the richest 1% and there’s no security? Now that I think about it, I’m not sure a teacher is ever really shown. It’s ok, Jan Di manages to see what really matters after she’s peppered with eggs and has flour dumped on her as she wonders ‘How many pancakes is this?’.

Back in the Flower Cave, “Ringo” (I don’t remember his actual name since he’s such a throwaway character but there’s always a Ringo!) solidifies his bizarre and out of place membership in the Four Flowers by randomly yelling English slang such as ‘Cool bro, yo!’ at top volume and punctuating with high fives. Then again, this is the leader of F4 …

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Oh Jun Pyo! Good ol’ Curly Head. He’s actually impossible not to fall in love with. Oh no, the music! It was about halfway into the series the first time I watched that it occurred to me I was starting to really dig the beyond terrible soundtrack of, like, five songs played NON-F’ING-STOP. No really, turns out they’re super good.

Ok, well that’s all I got from Episode 1. If you really love genius tv – and especially love binge watching – you can follow along with me since Boys Over Flowers is on Netflix. You’re welcome!

peace out

around portland : may’s full flower moon gathering

March 31, 2015

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Big news, guys! I am pleased to announce that I’ll be returning to the next Full Moon Gathering, a rad creative women’s workshop retreat, as a guest host. You may recall my recap of March’s Full Worm Moon Gathering (if not, you can read it here) … I had an uplifting and transformative experience and am super excited for May’s new workshops centered around the themes of truth and success.

Held at the magical (and very special to me) Sou’Wester Lodge again, rad babes Caroline Marie Griffin, Kate Rutter, and Suzy Olsen will be guiding workshops on crystals, essential oils, and tarot respectively. There will also be sunrise yoga led by Elissa Cirignotta, guided chakra meditation, brunch, live music, sauna time, a beach ceremony, a really cool large scale art project, and more.

As for me, I will be leading a working breakfast with my lovely and talented pal, Shola Lawson. Together we’ll discuss recognizing and clearing roadblocks to progress. If you’re a creative, or even just a creative wannabe, this workshop retreat will serve to provide powerful tools for clearing your mind of clutter and self-imposed roadblocks while enjoying the company of other wonderful women in a truly inspiring setting. Sounds awesome, right? I’m speaking from experience when I say, it is. In fact, the effects of March’s retreat continued to compound in the week that followed and I realized soon after that the impending burnout looming over me prior to the workshop was gone.

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If you’re interested, I recommend registering as soon as possible as spots are limited and go fast!

Registration details can be found here – I hope to see you there!

look book : all bad days ‘together alone’

March 30, 2015

You can all quit your crying now, at least for a few minutes, cos All Bad Days is coming out of winter hibernation with equally beautiful + bummer inducing accoutrement for spring. ‘Together Alone’ embodies the essence of ennui, which is all too prevalent in this season of flowers … I mean, who among us isn’t contemplating their fragility and impermanence and wondering just what the hell is the point anyway? Whole lotta Nope going on.

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The Feel Notes, the Alone necklace (a collab between ABD & metalsmith Lane Walkup), the No bralettes, the Always Empty doily mug – ugh, I want it all. Ok Portland peeps, you can resume your weeping now … Jess and Breyell are leaving us any day now to officially launch this shizz in Brooklyn. They’ll be gone for two whole weeks, wherein we’ll no doubt feel sadder than ever. Word is we’ll get a party of some sort after they’re back.

In the meantime, check out the All Bad Days shop here for a preview of all the things you gotta wait for and follow @allbaddays on Instagram to follow all the fun you’re not having with them in Brooklyn.

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Photography: Ian J Whitmore

MUAH: Mercedes Burns

Models: Myles Katherine Coleman, Jimi Hendrix, Cassondra Pittz, Daisy Goodwin, Sean James, Jonthan Raissi, Adam Murray

rad ladies : kate rutter

March 26, 2015

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Kate Rutter is many things: artist, designer, educator, entrepreneur, lovely human being - I’m probably missing a few other things but this is a good list to start from. I met Kate earlier this month at creative workshop retreat, The Full Moon Gathering (I’ve written about it here and here). As a co-host, Kate led a fascinating and informative class on essential oils and her knowledge, openness, and vulnerability made an impact on me that weekend. Already a fan of her brand, Heartcave, a purposeful collection of jewelry and scents inspired by nature and symbolism, I decided to connect with Kate to learn more about how she ended up in Portland, how Heartcave came to be and what it means to her, and of course, where she goes for a great burger -

 

VGS: Where are you from and how did you come to call Portland home?

K: I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. About four years ago I found myself in a state of discontent. I was feeling stagnant so I decided it was time to uproot and start anew. I chose Portland because I had friends that had slowly been migrating here over the years and there was comfort in that network of people. Honestly, I thought it would be this sort of transition phase, the first leg of the journey. I didn’t know THIS PLACE was the journey. Portland’s mellow energy, climate, and the dynamic landscape set the perfect tone for my being. My body feels at home and that has allowed for lots of growth and healing.

 

VGS: Where did the name Heartcave come from and what does it mean to you?

K: HEARTCAVE was inspired by the book Be Here Now by Ram Dass.

HEARTCAVE was birthed from my former jewelry line Tied Up and Tousled. It was essentially a rename and rebrand but it was really a giant leap of faith. I was in the process of leaving my day job to commit to life as a full time artist/creative. Deciding on a name felt like a heavy task. I had been toying around with a few things but ultimately they didn’t have enough depth while maintaining a sense of timelessness.

In late July last year, my boyfriend and I set off for a weekend of camping at the beach. I told him I was surrendering to the task of thinking of a new name and I granted it would effortlessly surface on this trip. We hiked to this special place we were gifted to know by a friend. They call it Secret Beach. The next day, it was 70 degrees with mild winds. Portlanders know, that is a magical day at the coast. As I read Be Here Now on the sand beside the ocean, I became more and more transcended by the hypnotic rhythm of the words. Everything went quiet and I read ::

ALL THE ENERGY

PASSES THRU YOU

YOU ARE ALL THE ENERGY

& IT RESIDES IN YOUR HEART

IF YOU GO WITHIN YOUR SPIRITUAL HEART

YOUR HRIDAYAM

YOU WILL THEN KNOW THAT

YOU ARE HE

& IT IS FROM THIS PLACE IN OUR HEART CAVE

WHERE WE ARE NOW

WE WATCH THE ENTIRE DRAMA

THAT IS OUR LIVES

WE WATCH THE ILLUSION

WITH

UNBEARABLE COMPASSION

Ultimately, we all hold the key. We are all the same. We are all one. We are all love. Love is all there is. In our heart space, or heart cave, we can find peace. Peace is love. Love is all. It’s so simple, but ego and drama muck it up. I invite you to let it all go. Go into your heart, ask for love, feel love, be love and give love. Now tell me, what else matters?

 

VGS: You have stated that you have not mastered any one craft but are an explorer of the arts, I assume this is tied to your philosophy of interconnectedness, or ‘All That Is’. Can you tell me more about that?

K: I am constantly seeking new insight, understanding, knowledge, and connection. I love philosophy and art because they infinitely provide all those things.

All That Is refers to everything and nothing, the seen and unseen, the known and unknown. It is our interconnectedness, our oneness, the collective consciousness.

 

VGS: If you had to limit yourself to one medium for expression, which do you think you would choose and why? 

K: This might be the hardest question I’ve ever been asked. I would choose plants and flowers because you can treat them as objects for installation, make pigments for paint and dyes, you can turn them into fibers or you could do some weird scent-sensory experiment. I don’t know, I guess it’d be endless expression. I choose plants and flowers, for sure.

 

VGS: Your work has dealt with the female figure recently, in what ways does it inspire you?

K: My latest work, Age Of Aquarius, more so represents a shift of humanity – a time when mankind seeks higher truths and we expand our consciousness.

I created pieces that evoke that inner expansion and  connection through symbolism. One example of this symbolism is the Sun Ring. It also reflects a woman’s breast which represents source, energy, and life force. It’s not my intention to make a statement about gender, but more so Mother Nature.

 

VGS: How did you get into working with oils and how do they compliment Heartcave?

K: I started working with pure essential oils from DoTerra a couple years ago while I was doing a work/trade at a local flower shop. The owner, Jill Mason, introduced me not only to the oils but to a whole new world of plants and flowers. There were lots a mini-moments that really defined my relationship with plant allies but I began to understand them on a much deeper level after reading a book called Plant Spirit Healing by Pam Montgomery.

I learned that everything has a vibration. I like to think of it as a pulse. Oils are no exception. Many of them operate at a very high vibration and have the ability to raise our frequency. Joy, creativity, love and intuition are high vibration feelings. Sadness, grief, despair, and fear are a low vibration feelings and cannot exist in or around a higher vibrational energy field.

In terms of HEARTCAVE, I suppose I am HEARTCAVE. I’ve chosen a path in tune with my authentic self that allows me to connect with others from a place of love through passion. The oils give me the physical, emotional, and spiritual support to stay aligned with that path. They quiet the mind/ego so I can hear that faint inner voice inside. This is our intuition and its guided by spirit. We all have it. It’s not something we have to find because it’s already there, but I do believe it’s strengthened by nature. I use plant medicine, or essential oils, daily as an easily accessible way to keep that connection alive.

 

VGS: What are your general thoughts on Portland’s Maker scene?

K: It’s bursting with talent, peer-support, and creative voice. It’s authentic and inspiring.

 

VGS: What can we expect from Heartcave in the future?

K: I have just moved into a beautiful studio space on NE Alberta and it’s properly called The HEARTCAVE. It’s not a public space, as it’s in a locked building, but my intention is to call in like-minded creatives who want to cultivate new work that aligns with a movement of love and co-creation. I’d love to host workshops and other visionary work. The space currently hosts evening ceremonies of tarot, crystal wisdom, essential oil balancing, and honoring full/new moons and other cosmic occurrences with Caroline Marie Griffin of Atelier Cornelia and Suzy Olsen of Psychic Siamese Terror.

 

VGS: Finally, where is your favorite spot in town to grab a burger?

K: Bonfire on 28th and Stark because they chop their lettuce and mix in some mayo before they dress the bun. Shredded lettuce is really underrated. [Ed: So true!]

 

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 Huge thanks to Kate for hosting me in her beautiful and inspiring studio!

You can shop Heartcave here and follow @heartcave on Instagram for beautiful photos and upcoming Heartcave news.

miscellany : wildfang presents evan rachel would

March 24, 2015

Remember that time I featured clothing from local tomboy brand Wildfang? I’ve been pretty smitten with them since so when I had the chance to be an extra in a fun video project they were working on, I jumped at it. It’s a funny story actually (ok, not that funny but whatevs) … I showed up for the 9:30am extra call and after hanging with a lovely acquaintance for, like, an hour and a half, it turned out that the extra call had been changed to 2pm and I didn’t get the email. At this point I had learned that the celebs in the video were none other than Portland Trailblazer Robin Lopez, Kim Gordon, and Even Rachel Wood. Too cool to miss out on, I went back home and killed a few hours before changing my wardrobe and heading back to the set. If you’ve been an extra before (I hadn’t) then you know it’s all just a waiting game anyway.

After signing some releases, having my face powdered, and being told by wardrobe that I was good as-is (score!), we sat around for another hour and a half. It was around that point that Kim Gordon’s driver walked in and told someone in charge that he had to leave with her by 4pm. Looking at my watch, I noted it was just after 3:30. While daydreaming about Kim’s driver stranding her and my having to chauffeur her to Powell’s for her book reading that evening, we were finally led to the set for filming. At this point it was just about 4:00 and as we stood around some more I noticed Kim suddenly appear, hug one of Wildfang’s owners, get into her car and drive off. Bummer! Still, I was only a few feet away and saw her so kinda cool. As far as I could tell, no one else noticed her. Since Robin Lopez also walked right past me that morning, I had seen two of the three celebs that day and was up on all the other extras. I know, I know – I’m super cool.

Finally, we were herded into a book shop, given our places, and what turned out to be fake copies of Kim’s book (I thought it was weird that she was talking about Al Qaeda so much in the pages I had flipped to – turns out they had photocopied her book cover and put in on copies of ‘The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden’). Finally, in comes Evan Rachel Wood. Sitting in the row of chairs behind me, she sat down and called for makeup, complaining that she felt gross because she just ate a banana. No one in charge heard her though so she cracked some jokes, asked for her sight line, and we began filming. Ten minutes in and we were done. I headed home, triumphant that I was the only extra to have seen all three of the celebs that day – at one point I even busted in on a mascot scene as it was being filmed haha. I know, worst extra ever.

In the end, you can’t even see me in the book store scene, though if you pause the video at 3:21 and look hard enough, you can see my Seaecho purse hanging from my shoulder in the middle of the shot. Kind of. Whatevs, it was a day filled with lots of excitement – and boredom! – and I’ll never forget it. Thanks Wildfang! Thanks Evan Rachel Wood! Thanks Robin Lopez and Kim Gordon!

 

 

For more Wildfang awesomeness and details on what inspired the video, click here.

indie designers : zoe cope

March 23, 2015


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Despite being a new comer to Portland’s jewelry scene, Zoe Cope is not new to the craft. Co-owner of the popular Birds N Bones line and a production assistant for beloved local line Tiro Tiro, Zoe recently made the move to Portland from the Bay area and started her eponymous line, Zoe Cope Jewelry, soon after. Far different than the work she does for Birds N Bones or Tiro Tiro, Zoe Cope Jewelry aims to inspire the incorporation of ceremony into the act of wearing jewelry by choosing special pieces that impart a sense of magic and ritual.

Inspired by the raw beauty of nature, Zoe’s first collection ‘Earthbound’ makes beautiful use of sterling silver and crushed semi-precious stones including amethyst, rose quartz, citrine, calcite, and even black diamonds in some pieces. The effect in her earrings and necklaces is that of a geode made of silver instead of rock, cracked open to reveal the dazzling interior. Likewise, her rings and cuffs bring to mind magical fissures.

I stopped by Zoe’s SE Portland studio recently to discuss her process, which is an intensive one. Zoe makes everything by hand, putting a lot of time and work into each piece as she cuts, hammers, and solders the metal and incorporates the gems. The worksmanship and quality is evident in each piece, creating works of art that are truly something to behold -

 

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Shop Zoe Cope Jewlery here and follow @zoe_cope_jewelry on Instagram.

sister style : chloë

March 19, 2015

Barista, cellist, and former vintage shop model, Chloë Cerva originally hails from Michigan but has been in Portland for several years already. We’ve been following each other on Instagram for forever and though she posts very few pictures of herself, something told me she would be a great addition to this series. How right I was!

Chloë’s modeling experience was evident right away. Our shoot took about half the time I expected as she switched poses like a pro. Even so, we still had time to chat. I was really intrigued by her work as a cellist; having formerly played with a symphony, she has also contributed her work to the recording of a hip hop album. She’s not in a band currently, though she and her guitarist boyfriend often play together in their free time.

Meanwhile, Chloë’s closet full of vintage and locally designed pieces yielded outfits perfect for the increasingly nice, almost-spring days we keep getting here in Portland -

 

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VGS: What is your earliest fashion related memory?

C: I have two actually! My earliest fashion memory would be spending time with my Nana going through her closet. She would show me her latest, favorite purchase, whether it be a necklace, a jacket, a purse, anything really, and would let me try it on. Soon enough we’d be spending an hour trying on 20 other things, modeling around the house, joking, laughing. We still do this when I go home to visit! Her style is quite bold. She has taught me that fashion should be fun and taking risks can work out if you have the confidence to pull it off. She radiates with confidence in absolutely everything she wears. She was my first fashion icon/hero, since I was a tiny little Chloë, ’til now.

I really fell in love with vintage pieces when I began modeling for an Ebay shop, Venus in Vintage, which was run by my friend Ashleigh, when I just turned 16. I would thrift a lot in middle and high school but it wasn’t until then that I truly begin to grasp what eras of fashion spoke to me and how to style them in modern day.

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VGS: What is your ideal spring wardrobe be comprised of?

C: My favorites for spring are denim (everything!) and vibrant lipsticks. Brown leathers and occasionally polka dots for some picnic vibes. I’m really loving retro prints and rose gold or bronze accents too.

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VGS: What is one item you can never have too many of?

C: I couldn’t ever have enough high-waisted bottoms. I have a longer torso so it makes my body feel more evened out. Also, bras! All styles. I want my top and bottom halves to feel comfortable and at their best. I also have a weakness for vintage suede skirts.

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VGS: Which brands / designers should VGS readers be checking out?

C: My favorite jewelry babe is Sara of Better Late Than Never! A magical lady with an amazing, happy laugh and crazy good aesthetic. My favorite chick in Portland, Miss Ainsley, just started up a five-free, vegan nail polish line inspired by food, Palate Polish. The Raddichio is dangerously close to the actual plant color and I’m in love! Also all of the rad shops around my work neighborhood: Hattie’s Vintage, Modo, Fortress of Inca, Haunt, Seven Sisters. I trust all of those ladies because they all project such a great sense of community, warmth, and love of personal expression. Being here is one of the first times I’ve felt comfortable being exactly who I am, where I am.

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indie designers : baleen

March 16, 2015

Seattle’s Baleen is one of those lines that seems too good to be true: Affordable handmade jewelry that hits all the right design notes? Sounds dubious, right? When I first discovered them, I thought there was no way they were actually making their jewelry by hand at such reasonable price points – but they do. Then I thought there is no way they can keep this up – but they have. In fact, they’ve just released their latest items for spring and I have to say, I am smitten - especially by the Speckled Bangle and Half Circle Studs. Using gold plated wire and sterling silver, the new additions are modern and interesting - and nothing is priced over $38. I don’t know how they do it, but thankfully they have found a way.

 

Shop Baleen here and follow them on Instagram @hellobaleen.

rad ladies : the full moon gathering workshop

March 13, 2015

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Back in January I wrote about then upcoming creative women’s workshop, The Full Moon Gathering. Taking place during March’s Full Worm Moon cycle, a mysterious and beautiful flier touted creative workshops, an amazing beach location, intention setting exercises, sunrise yoga, sauna soaking, delicious meals, and more. It sounded pretty great and I have a connection with the location of The Full Moon Gathering, The Sou’Wester Lodge, going back to early childhood. The thought of staying at an old favorite home away from home, networking with a group of rad ladies and maybe getting a little witch on was too intriguing. I got a small group of awesome friends together and signed us up.

On our way to the coast the four of us all had different ideas of what we were heading to and I think we were as equally excited as we were anxious. It took way longer to get out of town that I anticipated but we still arrived in time to enjoy the last hour of gorgeous weather the day had brought. Piling into the lodge, host Caroline Marie Griffin welcomed us and provided us with our Full Moon Workshop bibles. The bibles provided the weekend’s itinerary and host information but still retained an air of mystery as to what we were actually in for.

 

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Once everyone arrived we sat down to a meal that was truthfully advertised in it’s deliciousness – and tacos, no less. Co-host Suzy Olsen of Psychic Siamese Terror created a great dinner ice breaker and I felt pretty good with my back to a fire place, delicious food heaped on my plate, great company, and the light of the sunset filtering through the windows. After dinner, a guided meditation exercise led by co-host Cara Denison helped break the ice even further. We had a short break and gathered again for a candlelight ceremony, an elaborate ritual that set the tone of the weekend.

The next day saw me miss sunrise yoga after not sleeping well. I wasn’t surprised, I usually have that issue when away from my own bed. After breakfast we gathered in the lodge for a workshop on essential oils. Led by artist and Heart Cave designer, Kate Rutter, I really enjoyed the informative and hands-on aspects of Kate’s presentation. Afterwards, we used our block of free time to picnic and relax on the beach. The day was unseasonably warm and sunny – even the usually strong coastal wind was calm. I’ll admit, the weather was so good we missed the sauna session and I’m 100% ok with that. I did get in a tarot reading! Meeting back up in the evening, Caroline and co-hosts set up dinner seating on the grand second floor balcony. Enjoying the sunset through the evergreen trees clustered throughout the grounds and eating an incredible meal for the second night in a row, I felt pretty contented and awesome.

 

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The evening’s guided meditation ceremony, led by Psychic Siamese Terror’s Suzy Olsen and Alana Jevert Glover, came after some hang time with my lady friends, VHS viewings of ‘Overboard’ and ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, and what I swear was a never-ending bag of cheddar and sour cream Ruffles. We made our way to the lodge’s murphy bed room, which had been transformed into a magical and cozy sanctuary complete with a carpet made of blankets, twinkling candlelight, and a unicorn wall hanging. Suzy and Alana led us through an almost hypnotic tarot guided meditation exercise unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Exhausted, but happy, we collapsed into bed and slept slightly better than the night before.

 

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Missing yoga again (I swear, I really did intend to make it both days!), we enjoyed breakfast and met one last time for a heavy guided meditation session led by Caroline. I don’t know if I was just tired from the preceding days activities and lack of sleep but I had a hard time with this one. Caroline bravely shared her very personal story and the lessons she learned. Truthfully, it was a bit overwhelming to me – especially as a textbook introvert who had just spent 40+ hours sharing a room with three women and a lodge with 25 other people.

 

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Leaving the beautiful Sou’Wester property and coast behind, I arrived home in an admittedly weird headspace. After vegging out for the rest of the day, I slept like a rock and woke up feeling amazing the next day. I am not even kidding when I say I’ve felt successively better each day since. Even though the cynic in me wants to downplay that, I’ve been incorporating the meditation practices we experienced into my exercise routine and have felt so light and free of the burnout I had felt building up in the weeks – hell, months – before the workshop. From the beginning Caroline promised some heavy work, helpful tools, lovely opportunities to connect with one another – and she delivered. So much so that a week later I’m still feeling the positive effects. So many thanks to Caroline and co-hosts!

Registration for the next workshop celebrating May’s Full Flower Moon will be live very soon, follow The Full Moon Gathering on Facebook and check here for registration info.

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For more pics from the weekend, visit the VGS Tumblr here and here.

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