A Good Death

Today I said goodbye to my first Hospice patient. She would have been 100 in December. They work hard to match up volunteers with patients, and they did a fantastic job with us. We bonded quickly and talked about everything, from how short Tom Cruise is to how worried her five-year-old self was that her father would have to leave the family to go fight in WWI. She talked about "the tremendous progress of the female" over the century of her life (she was especially sympathetic with all the hardship the pioneer women endured), and she often told me that I don't need a man and, in fact, better keep 'em away from my hard-earned assets!

She was also extremely encouraging of, well, just me. My life, my path, my business, my motherhood. She thought I was truly amazing, and melted my heart to tears a number of times with her loving praise. A lot of people love me and encourage me on, but there was something about her words and her expression and conviction that went right to my heart and made me believe that just maybe she was right. She really saw that I had different opportunities than she had, and was proud of me for working toward what I want and feel called to.

She was also feisty and funny and raw, even as she struggled with the challenges of very old age. The last time I saw her she looked at me and said, "My advice to you kid is- die young!"

I thanked her today for initiating me into this work and for her endless encouragement. In her courageous spirit, I will be beginning to speak publicly (something that I absolutely hate doing and have avoided for many years) around issues of death and dying in and around our community in the next few months, along with my friends in the Full Circle Living & Dying Collective.

I am so grateful for my youth, health, passion, and supportive community.

Onward 'till the end!

(Stay tuned! I'll be hosting Nevada County's first Death Cafe next month and it'll be a rockin' good time. If you're interested but not local, check their website to see if this ever-expanding movement is headed to your town soon!)

What Is Past Is Prologue: Five Years of Violet Folklore

Today is Violet Folklore's 5th anniversary! It was on September 19th, 2008 that Sasha and I, after weeks of talking about how we'd work it all out, plunged forward and set up our Etsy account. We had met at a local herb class the previous year; I remember noticing Sasha right away on the first day of class because of the beautiful prairie dress she was wearing. What a sweet sign of what was to come! Violet Folklore

This was our first attempt at taking an Official Marketing Photo. It was a very serious endeavor. (And apparently we were twelve years old).

Sasha went on to found her own Etsy vintage shop called Astral Boutique. She has carried her wild-eyed, golden-hued, flowers-in-her-hair vision forward with her and has been very successful with her shop, even being Etsy's Featured Seller back in July! Sasha is responsible for many of the early photos featured below.

I thought I'd celebrate today by posting a retrospective of some of my favorite vintage pieces, shot on a dozen different cameras over the years in some of the most beautiful locations in and around Nevada City and worn by (almost) every model Violet Folklore has ever featured. **I have deleted tens of thousands of photos off my computer over the years, so I know there are a few girls missing from this post. I'm sorry ladies, and I love ye dearly and thank ye endlessly!**

Carabeth

Carabeth modeled the first piece we ever sold. We felt triumphant!

Sarah

Sarah has been killing it with every pose all throughout these five years.

Cynthia

Cynthia is now Sasha's bandmate in Mt. Whateverest. CHECK THEM AND THEIR AMAZING OUTFITS OUT.

Sethy

Sethicus was VF's one and only male model. All the ladies swooned.

Alela

 Alela wore a Daughter of the Sun necklace on the Winter Solstice.

Maria

Maria was red hot.

Lucia

Lucia channeled Eve.

Bette

Bette channelled Little Red Riding Hood.

Candace

Candace modelled one of the prettiest Gunnies ever.

Sasha

Along with the one Sasha modeled in this self-photographed moment of crystalline sweet pea reverie.

Toni

Toni (of Moonchild Vintage) struck a pose at one of the many local Gold Rush historical sites- Empire Mine State Park in Grass Valley.

Amber

I breathed in the big sky in Nevada (the actual state).

Lily

Lily managed to remain earthbound.

Suuzi

Suuzi looked down, smiled, and created one of my favorite photos ever.

JenJen

Jen offered her beauty & grace to the world.

Mycelia

Mycelia brought the kid's vintage to adorable new heights.

Annie

Annie's playfulness was perfectly captured by Simon Weller's photographs in the Little Town of Washington (he took the following five pictures as well...)

Ariella

Ariella didn't even have to pretend to be a magical woodland nymph.

Kate

Kate embodied a ghostly miner's widow at Malakoff Diggins.

Alli

Alli lounged in between rounds of Bloody Mary's at the famous Willo Steakhouse.

Chia

Chia (of Out of the Mystic) was the Golden Queen of the Summer Solstice.

Erin

And Erin radiated her calm beauty out into the sunlit pines of the Sierra foothills...

LadyPower

I'll leave you with yet another early Official Marketing Photo attempt. I'm pretty sure we were going for a Lady Power! vibe with this shoot- you can use power tools, be a mother, and rock out all while wearing pretty vintage! And you know I've learned in these past five years- IT'S TRUE.

Earth Mama Suuzi

Now that we're 92% settled in our new home with Adam, I'm ready to start working on the many blog post ideas that have been swirling around in my mind. From herbal adventures to visits from vintage blogging friends to the amazing collaborative (--->) photo shoots I've been doing lately to creating said home & garden, there's a lot to share. First and foremost though, I want to share some pictures of our beloved Suuzi here in her final couple weeks of pregnancy. She is due on June 25th and is ripe and juicy with that beautiful Mama glow.

After a handful of scheduling snafus and communications mix-ups we finally executed a long-planned photo shoot of her around her farm a few evenings ago. The images came out so beautifully that I'm inclined to believe that the earlier mishaps were some sort of divine intervention. Here she is wearing a gorgeously embroidered rainbow vintage dress from yours truly that is just perfect for pregnancy.

Suuzi embodies the spirit of the Bountiful Earth Mama more than any pregnant woman I have ever seen. It's an honor to watch her blossom into motherhood.

This gorgeous dress she scored at the newly opened NEVA CO. Artisan Boutique in downtown Nevada City. My vintage pieces will soon be featured there, and are already hanging on the racks at the also newly opened Kitkitdizzi! Downtown NC is getting a fresh infusion of new shops and cafes lately, and it's exciting and inspiring to see. New energy, growth, and life are everywhere these days.

Crimson & clover.

From planting the seed to assessing the growth, Spencer has been working like a, well, soon-to-be-father and preparing a whole new home on the farm for his budding family.

And now onto the baby shower, which happened the day before the photo shoot:

Suuzi's mother-in-law hosted in her beautiful backyard garden oasis. The ladies were all aglow with the warmth of the summer afternoon and the joy of each other's company.

Two other pregnant beauties were in attendance as well. Samantha, in the middle there, will be having her fourth baby in August, and Christy is due with her second in late October. I love all of these woman and was thrilled to be able to gather them all up for this photo!

Here's Amanda (in the cutest outfit ever) reenacting a hilarious birth scene from the classic natural childbirth video Birth Into Being. Well, the birth itself is awesome, but there are some very funny elements to the whole scene as well. In Russia in the 1980s a 4th time mama is laboring in a glass birthing tub with a sweatband around her head while her kids walk around waving sticks of incense, and she gives birth so easily and seemingly painlessly that you wouldn't know it had happened if you didn't just see through the see-through walls of the tub that a baby just came out of her vagina. Birth Into Being was updated and expanded upon in the early 2000s and is now called Birth As We Know It. You can see the scene I'm talking about (which many of the baby shower guests seemed to be familiar with) on either video. Here is the trailer to Birth As We Know It:

(BTW Nevada County peeps, Elena Tonetti, the film's maker, will be hosting a screening in Grass Valley at Summerthyme's on July 12th.)

The one game we played was a Natural Childbirth Trivia game that Suuzi wrote herself. It's so like her to make sure that not only are we having fun, but we're also learning!

Here a guest looks at the adorable gift basket that Nikiya (unable to attend) sent along with me. Let me state for the record that Grandfather Twilight is one of my all time favorite children's books, and that Barbara Helen Berger is one of my all time favorite children's authors and illustrators. (Thanks to Jen for taking some of these photos!).

I had to snap a quick shot of my gifts. First of all, can you tell I think it's a boy? Secondly, this is the neatest little book with an amazing story behind its inspiration. And thirdly, HOW RAD IS THIS LITTLE PILLOW handmade by my friend Kiya of Kiya's Naturals? Oh and fourthly- total color scheme happening! Oh okay and then fifthly, the pillow says The Winter Aconite Fairy at the bottom, and Suuzi told me about how this herb saved her life many years ago; perhaps she can leave a comment explaining more about how :-)

Next time you see a photo of Suuzi on this blog, that little baby in there will be out here!

Upgrades, Updates, Uploads, and the Upswing

Upgrades: Aww yeah, it's day one of Project Blog Upgrade! We'll be tinkering with the site a bit over the next couple weeks, doing some major tech updates and a full aesthetic makeover. Please bear with us and the ever-changing site as we figure it all out.

Updates: We'll start with Suuzi, who is just moving into her 3rd trimester. She is feeling great and looking fabulous! We lunched at Ike's last week, stopping in at a nearby baby/maternity buy/sell/trade shop where she picked up that little blue dress, and also taking some rest time to feel the sweet softness of Nevada City's latest yarn bomb awesomeness.

Moving onto Toni A.K.A. the (now infamous) gunnesaxlady. The day after my post was published her Etsy shop was shut down, though she is still (frustratingly, considering the fact that I emailed them proof that she's using images stolen from other people) up and running on Ruby Lane. I want to thank all of you who took the time to read, comment on, and share that post. It went viral on facebook and got 10x the number of hits my posts usually get, and I feel very satisfied that many people in the vintage community know about her scam now and will be keeping their eyes peeled for her next sneaky move. I have received many more messages since that blog was posted from buyers and sellers describing more outrageous behavior from Toni and team (seems there are definitely at least two people running that operation), including one $200+ purchase Toni made for which she made three separate payments from three separate PayPal accounts over a long period of time, constantly "forgetting" how much she owed and trying to undercut the seller ("I owe you $15, right?" "No, you owe me $50"). I still haven't received my payment from her.

Uploads: My Instagram obsession continues. I was stoked yesterday to see a whole bunch of new friends joined because the app had been made Android friendly. If you're on, my username is violetfolklore. If you're not, you can check out my photo feed here while you scheme up ways to get yourself a compatible smartphone.

On the upswing: SPRINGTIME HAS ARRIVED! I've pulled my pretty warm weather dresses out of storage! I am leaving town for a trip to visit family tomorrow! I am stoked on my new blog design and the many little extras I have up my sleeve that are going to make this site that much better! I recently scored some darling vintage wall hangings that are already listed in the shop (see below)! I just acquired a hefty lot of amazing vintage European 50s and 60s lace slips and camisoles that are going to blow your goddamned mind (see below) (I mean seriously, they do not make clothing like this anymore)! Mycie gets to spend Easter with dozens of cousins who we rarely get to see! SPRINGTIME HAS ARRIVED!

Great day for Up!

A Vetivery Golden Night on the Town

Two Sundays nights ago I had even-more-fun-than-expected night out on the town. And I was seriously expecting it to be fun.

It all started in Cabin A in Big Sur back in January when Adam and I shared a cabin with Andy Cabic of Vetiver and his awesome girlfriend (a cellist, Etsian, and San Francisco shop owner) Alissa. We talked about the scene in Nevada City, Andy wondered if it was worth trying to play a show here in March as part of their tour, we said UM YES and this is who you call, he called, requested that Adam's band Golden Shoulders share the bill, and it all happened!

I called the photo album I made of this night Friend Heaven at the Haven, because it was UNREAL how many of my friends, from many different areas and times in my life, were there. It felt like my birthday or something. This here's a bunch of local ladies, but they came from all over...

Before the show, having drinks across the street at The National, I was absolutely thrilled to run into not one, but TWO, old Sacramento friends. I worked with these handsome and wonderful gents at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op the year before I had Mycie. And there are hardly any other of my ex-coworkers who I'd rather randomly run into. I mean, I was just beside myself with happiness. That's Nate on the left and Justin (from Santa Cruz) on the right. And they did not come to the show together either and have lived in separate towns for years, so it was a sweet surprise for all of us!

Nate had driven up from Sacramento with one of the first friends I made blogging 3 1/2 years ago- Amber from Painfully Hip. At some point she suggested to her twin sister Eve and her husband Danny that they befriend me on Facebook due to some similar interests, so I had known the two on the right at a distance for a while. And so it was a THIRD fantastic surprise moment that night when they also walked into The Nash and we all instantly recognized one another and got to finally meet in person! And the actual show hadn't even started yet. AND I still haven't revealed the most exciting guests of the evening...

My momma and her husband Dave and my beloved Uncle Charlie! Mom & Dave drove up from Gardnerville, NV and Charlie came from Sacramento. They are all big fans of Adam's music and were very happy to finally have the chance to see him perform. Sadly, this is the only picture I got of my mom, and none of the dudes. But I had such a good time with them. My mom is the coolest; ever since I was a child my friends have always adored her. She's one of the girls, no matter the age distance, and I had a blast having her hang out with my nearest and dearest girlfriends.

Golden Shoulders takes the stage! The teens swoon...

During the break between sets Jen and I (and my mom!) took a whole lotta pictures of a whole lotta silliness...

Brett Shady (performing with Adam) (and btw, since I've posted about him a number of times, YES that's his real name).

And his sweet, sweet lady. Can you even believe how darling Samantha is? This dress? That face? That little baby bump? And you shoulda seen her on the dance floor after the show.

Finally it was time for Vetiver to begin. Samantha, an exhausted Adam, and Ski watched from the sidelines...

While I wormed my way to the front row (I'm pretty good at that).

The Sacramento crew had a pretty sweet moment during the encore, hugging and singing in a big happy group of family and friends.

As a final note to this incredible evening, I would just like to say that this picture represents the best essential oil combo ever- amber & vetiver. I've been wearing it for years, and we certainly joked about it that weekend in Big Sur. I use this amber and this vetiver. People lose their minds. Give it a try ;-)

Oh! And check out these gorgeous songs from our featured bands: