Friday, October 28, 2011

The Matrix


I'm taking an online website class and in the midst of learning a whole new language and skill set. To say I am completely overwhelmed is an understatement. However, after years of frustration with website designers and coders it feels really liberating to know that I will have the option of doing things myself if I want. I am being empowered with important new tools that are crucial for the uber-niche indie artist.

In January 2010 I listened to a talk in the Etsy Labs completely unconscious of the long tail of inspiration that was about to enter my mind. The talk in Brooklyn was by author and visionary Douglas Rushkoff. You can read about it by following this link.

Since then I've had the pleasure of meeting this most magnetic and charismatic fellow For me, he steps into the realm of super hero status here on planet earth. At a panel presentation in the big Ballroom of the SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) authors Deepak Chopra and Grant Morrison shared their definitions of certain words and ideas on the changing world. They explained the similarities between superheroes like Superman and Batman and spiritual masters. Deepak and Grant reminded us that the powerful archetype of the super hero is within each of us. Douglas is one of those unique individuals that has harnessed his super hero power and like a laser beam is part of the dynamic shift in mass consciousness.

In a recent lecture Douglas presented in Berlin he gave a most fascinating talk based on his new book Program or Be Programmed. The talk was titled Toward a Peer to Peer Economy. I suggest creating the time and space to watch the entire presentation, as your mind will most likely be expanded with new concepts and awareness.

Watch live streaming video from etsy at livestream.com


One of the many igniting concepts shared is the importance of learning computer code. As a devotee of nature, mother of a Waldorf student and one who is challenged with the assimilation and digestion of new computer programs and skills, I was weary. However, instead of following the fear I have chosen to step into empowering my super hero this new matrix. After all I would much prefer to be a programmer than one who is being programmed.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Dark is Rising


"Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated and perhaps forever talked to by God and his messengers." ~ Brenda Ireland

The shift from light to dark has becomes more apparent as we spiral our way toward Samhain on the Solar Wheel of the Year. This is a time of when the Earth goes into her dormant mode here in the northern hemisphere. The light of the sun diminishes causing cooler temperatures. Nature perceives this lullaby, witnessed by the apparent death in the landscape, with energies turning inward. Trees display their new cloaks of vivid color, the palette of the terrain changes dramatically and the hive of the honey bee begins to contract.

Samhain is a time of contemplation, our awareness becomes heightened to the cycle of life and death. Light ceremonies and bodily cleanses are prominent now in preparation for the window into the next cycle.

The most conspicuous symbols of the season here in modern western culture are sinister creatures and death. Goblins, zombies, skeletons, ghosts, black cats are all emblems of the shadow side which serve as a nemesis to test our commitment to our will forces. Like the story of the angelic warrior hero Michael conquering the fiery dragon.


This is the time of year we engage our courage and strive to conquer over the darker forces of our lower energies and chakras. On the Emerson Waldorf School website I found a nice little piece which sums this up succinctly:

"The strong, willful iron of Michael’s sword acts as an antidote to this desire to fall asleep and goads us to face the feeling of emptiness before the dying world of nature. It is this spirit of resolve and inner warmth that we seek to carry with us as we begin the school year."

Thus light a candle and remember who you are as we courageously move into this new phase. While studying aromatherapy in the nineties I made a Will Force blend that included elemi, grapefruit and thyme. I just listed a revision of this synergy in organic jojoba oil at the E-shop for you. Use it like a natural perfume of Michael's sword to give yourself courage and resolve as needed, the blend includes three types of Frankincense. I can make it up for you as a solid by personal request.

1 Emerson Waldorf School, Festivals

Images:
Sanctum Sanctorum ©Greg Spalenka
The Magick Circle by John William Waterhouse courtesy of ArtMagick
St. Micheal courtesy of SmallBay

Heralding in Hedera Helix

This page has been created to list all the reviews and testimonials that come in for Hedera helix, the new, green chypre natural, botanical perfume for Ivy, one of the sacred plants of the Celtic forest and part of the Tree Ogham. Get your sample set here.

"I have been rolling in Hedera Helix ~ sweet green chili peppers surrounded by leaves of ivy and oakmoss and lightly sprinkled with powder. Um, am I crazy? Absolutely love this perfume!!!"
~ Customer


"SOTE: After a hot shower, the wonderful new Hedera Helix in solid perfume from Roxana Villa - a green lover's idea of paradise, and so calming too. Aaahhhhhh.... :-)"
~ Donna Hathaway

Roxana Illuminated Perfume Hedera Helix: Wouldn’t you love to receive the lovely compacts pictured above? I certainly would as they’re filled with Roxana Villa’s newest fragrance, Hedera Helix, an olfactory ode to ivy. Not surprisingly, this perfume is a leafy green chypre that has a dense and addicting note of oakmoss as its foundation. Both incarnations of Hedera Helix, solid and liquid, are a complex blend of nearly forty different essences, but I prefer the solid’s focus on the effervescent top notes of clementine, orange blossom, and grapefruit. (The liquid is much more resinous and inky and also very beautiful). The heart is full of warm beeswax and woods and the drydown is dappled with sweet rose and jasmine petals. I find this progression from chypre green to pale pink to be quite compelling and all together lovely.
~ Trish of Scent Hive

Friday, October 21, 2011

Honest Replication


On some days I find myself pondering if there is one thread that unifies all my work as an artist. Today I watched a video sent to me via Ben about letterpress printing and heard the words "honest replication" causing an ah-hah moment.


Honest replication relates to true, natural perfume; letter press printing; saving oak trees and honey bees; handmade; sustainability; nature; authenticity; transparency, etc.


Since we are speaking of letterpress, I've integrated several shots of the portion of the garage studio which is now home to the two hand presses and all the associated paraphernalia. We just about ready to start printing. Yes, I have a truck load of wood type, most of it is from Argentina.




Here is the video that mentioned honest replication.

Trip Print Press & The Making Of FreshSox from Brought To You By ... on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Be Witching in Green


“To me, a witch is a woman that is capable of letting her intuition take hold of her actions,
that communes with her environment, that isn't afraid of facing challenges.”

~ Paulo Coelho


I've been photographing the new solid perfume compacts, almost daily. Here are a few photos of the Green Witch case in silver. Each case holds a vinyl coated tin which is what I pour the solid perfume into a coated aluminum pan that fits inside with the metal compact. There is approximately 5.3 grams or 1.86 ounces of natural perfume by weight. The round compacts are manufactured and finished in America by a small family owned business. The compacts measure 1-5/8" diameter X 1/2" deep.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?


Last Saturday, in the late afternoon just as the sun reached magic hour, I attended the Pollination Party sponsored by fellow backward beekeepers Chelsea and Rob of Honey Love.

That's me walking through the garden, photo by Ashley Fontenot

The event was held in Venice at the Learning Garden. My first introduction to this inspiring organic, urban oasis was in 2001 via friend and mentor David Crow. At the time my daughter Eve was attending Highland Hall Waldorf School which had its own flourishing, edible garden a staple at most Waldorf Schools with large plots. Taking this idea into the main stream school system in a very urban location within Los Angeles was groundbreaking.


“When neighborhoods are transformed into gardens, numerous social problems are resolved: crime decreases, community and family bonds are strengthened. Gardens are places of beauty and spiritual solace, which bring happiness to those suffering from stress and emotional difficulties. By transforming our cities into living pharmacies and sources of nourishment, the root causes of sickness can be alleviated.” ~David Crow

Looking at the garden ten years from when it began is a glorious testament to what is possible even within the confides of the unified school district. The Learning Garden is located on Venice Blvd. at Walgrove between the 405 Fwy and the Pacific ocean. The power of vision combined with many helping hands is transformational as seen in the virtual tour at The Learning Garden website.


Within this garden honey bees coexist with humans in a 60,000 square foot, totally organic space where no pesticides are used. All the needs of the garden are taken care of by the garden within a closed looped, meaning no soil amendments, fungicides, pesticides, fertilizers, etc. All the garden needs are produced by the garden itself in a self sustaining system. The site is even home SLOLA to the seed library of Los Angeles.

David King in front with the hat and Chelsea McFarland at left.

David King, another fellow backwards beekeeper, is the garden master and can be found there almost everyday. David led us on a comprehensive tour which included treats for the mind, soul, eyes, nose and mouth.



David King is the one with the hat, Chelsea and Rob McFarland are at the end on the right. Photo by Ashley Fontenot.

The Learning Garden
SLOLA
Honey Love
Backward Beekeepers

Most the photos were taken by me with my new Canon Rebel, the others were taken by Ashley Fontenot.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pictorialism


During the late 1800's there was a group of photographers who made a conscious effort to focus their work on the artistic quality and aesthetics of an image, rather than be representational. This photographic movement was termed pictorialism.


The imagery portrayed was often very similar to the trends in painting at the time, specifically the symbolist movement and the Pre-Raphaelite painters of Britain. Photographic prints were manipulated in the darkroom, printed on special papers and sometimes engraved. These techniques disrupted the smooth surface of the imagery further distancing themselves from the traditional photography.


Alfred Stieglitz an American photographer was influenced and part of early movement of pictorialism in America. The group managed to have photography established as a legitimate art form in 1910, before that time photography was seen only as a tool not an art form.


I was introduced to this genre of photography by my husband Greg who has a collection of these works as well as many books on the subject. I adore the dreamy, poetic and romantic quality of the imagery. The Vespertina illustrated novel Greg has been working on has been influenced by the pictorialists.

Images
Opener:The Bubble by Clarence H. White (American, 1871–1925)
"Speed", by Robert Demachy
"The Dirigible" by Alfred Stieglitz
William of Northampton by Greg Spalenka

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Poetic Consciousness


"Living by synchronicity isn't merely about getting messages.
It is about growing the poetic consciousness that allows us to taste and touch what rhymes
and resonates in the world we inhabit,
and how the world-behind-the-world reveals itself
by fluttering the veils of our consensual reality."
~ Robert Moss


Thanks to Chantal for this lovely quote. As you can see I've started photographing the new silver and brass toned compacts filled with natural solid perfume. Below is GreenWitch dressed in silver with her hand crochet sea green pouch. My goal is to do a few each day in between making, formulating, packaging and shipping vital plant perfumes all over the world.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Woven

The solid perfume compacts are back with a tapestry design on the face of the cases. They are available in both a silver and brass antique finish. Find them in the E-shop as I slowly begin to upload all the various aromas. The tapestry pattern is the one on the original perfume locket which is also back in stock with chains available in three different lengths.


Back in March of 2009 when I had my palette done I was given the name Tapestry Summer, which refers to the specific type of colors and light that relate to my skin, eye and hair. This is the palette that also relates to specific shapes and themes, all of which I integrate into Illuminated Perfume.





Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Flowers

Currently the prominent colors in the woodland are moving into the dark greens of the live oak, ash browns of various tree bark and the rust of fallen leaves. The native plants have been in their summer slumber and are now starting to awaken by the recent rain and cooler temperature.

Amidst the more somber palette, planted in pots lining the front of the house there is a festival of more vivid color transpiring among the flowers. Various roses, jasmine, hibiscus, white and pink plumeria, lavender and garden geranium are all showing off their spectacular blooms.

These flowers serve as a reminder that natural and botanical perfumes stem authentically from the plant kingdom and all Mother Nature so generously offers is. Flowers is the palette of the natural perfumer provide key heart notes in the structure of almost all the perfume families.

Although, to my knowledge, there is no hibiscus flower essence, we do get ambrette seeds from the hibiscus which is an important fixative and offers us that wonderous botanical musk note. ambrette also has an alchemical quality when paired with florals in a perfume.


Happy Flower Friday from my woodland garden to each of you!

Content and Photographs: ©Roxana Villa

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Paradiso Perduto

I've been wearing Hedera helix almost daily as of late, sometimes by choice and sometimes just from making so much of it lately. My clothes are infused with the green, floral heaven that it is and since the longevity is tenacious I can often smell it on my skin the next day.

Last night Greg and I decided to re-watch one of my very favorite films of all time, the 1998 re-make of Great Expectations directed by Alfonso Cuarón. While breathing in the glorious green color script of this motion picture it occurred to me that Hedera helix is perfect for the Gwyneth Paltrow character Estella. Hedera is green, complicated, pretty, sophisticated, romantic, bewitching, dark and a tad snobby in a classic Chypre way.





Hedera helix is now available in all formats in the E-shop, enjoy and please let me know what you think. Are you captivated, entangled by it's classic chypre green charm?


The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.
~Hanna Rion

Most of the screen shots from the film are via eldestandonly.com