Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Good Will and Ganesha

I had the best day. It was gorgeous in the sunshine, I felt great in my new favourite outfit, and, most excellent of all, enjoyed a visit with dear long-time friends. Be forewarned that I drank deeply of the PicMonkey Collage Kool-Aid so that I could share it with you. Shorter posts will resume after this one. I'm also attending the Goodwill Goldmine Party (where people are showcasing their fantastic charity-shop finds), hosted by the super-awesome Lynne of Practical Paralegalism, hooray! 

jacket (THX thanx collection) and belt: thrifted at Talize, where every purchase and donation benefits the Children's Wish Foundation
purse: thrifted at The Humane Society Store, South Padre Island, TX (affectionately a.k.a. "The KittyCat Store")

awesome buttonflowers: Megan Mae Designs
onomatopoeia pin: beanforest, etsy

This is my friend of 20+ years, Julie Sumerta, who together with her husband (also my friend), Balinese wood carver Nyoman Sumerta, is on a working visit "back home" from Ottawa. I hadn't seen her in person for a couple of years, and after we were done crying our eyes out, there was much grinning, hugging, and giggling. My face still hurts.  

sunglasses: RayBan
pullover sweater: Esprit (2005 or older), worn here
pencil skirt: Smart Set (my only un-favourite bit of this outfit due to abysmal quality - breaks out in pills if you look at it sideways, aargh)
shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction, Winners, worn with belt here, with other favourites here and here

This jacket's previous owner altered its snap closure to increase the overlap, which greatly improves the fit, highlights asymmetry, and gives the collar interesting sculptural qualities. (Thanks, cool person!!!) It reminded me of Melanie's collar fix, and hey, anything remotely suggestive of Melanie is grand in my books.  

On the theme of outrageously grand sculptural qualities,
Nyoman is a jaw-droppingly incredible artist. 

vintage necklace: a gift from my mother, worn here and here

It did my heart so much good to be with Julie and Nyoman. I carry this with me, bright and calm and clear as the day, tap-tapping in the exact rhythms of Nyoman working. 

It's fascinating how our lives have intersected again and again at particularly vivid points of import, sometimes with years passing in between circlings-back. What does it mean? Do you have connections like that? 

detail of DIY drapery cord purse strap
carnelian ring: El Disco Super Centre, Progreso, Mexico, worn here and here

More collage action and photos, including Julie's carnelian pendant and gemstone bead creation, below the jump. Please know that all of the links in this post are here out of love alone, and free from request or compensation. Wishing everyone the warmth of friendship - whether deep and abiding, intermittent, lightly felt, fresh, or fleeting - all kinds of it, ever gloriously lit by fall sun. 

More of Julie and Nyoman's work can be seen at: 


  1. You look beautiful love the red great color on you...and amazing wood carvings ~and you know I do have some friends that we also interconnect in a similar way, that is such a blessing to reconnect with a friend like that ~Great photos thanks for sharing ~Love Heather

  2. You really do look gorgeous in red. And that coat is just fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing the photos of the Balinese wood carvings; they are SO amazing!

  3. How wonderful to spend time basking in the warm glow of sunshine and friendship, Amber. You look beautiful in black and red, I love that ultra stylish jacket. It looks a little cape-like, which Is a good thing! Your ring is spectacular.
    I am smiling at the photo of you and Julie, I can see how much you are enjoying each other's company. And the carvings and sculpture are just stunning.
    Life and friendship often has an ebb and flow to it, don't you think? We can have such passionate, intense relationships with people, then we (or they) move on or away. But there can be a thread which holds us together and when the time is right, we are pulled back in sync again. I like that! xxxxx

  4. Oh how I love that gorgeous jacket. The collar is amazing, the shape is amazing. Your friends are remarkable artists. Congrats on getting to spend some time with them. Good friends are good for the soul! Also hooray for joining Lynne's link-up!

  5. That jacket is fabulous -- love the silhouette it gives you when combined with that pencil skirt. Very dramatic! Perfect for a grand entrance.

  6. Oh I love this outfit - its an amazing shape and colour. Thank you for sharing the photos of the wood carvings. You have some lovely talented friends.

  7. Well, of course the two of you got back together. Ganesha is the Remover of Obstacles.:) Red is a color of Life :)) You look fab!

  8. Love the photos of you and Julie. Pictures of friends always make me smile.

  9. Gotta LOVE friends that make you laugh until you cry or cry until your face hurts. LOVE that.

    The wood working looks so FAB. I LOVE good wood carvings!

    And this outfit with the plaid jacket - OH. GOD. HOW I LOVE it! THe jacket is GORG on you! And you know how I feel about red heels!
    -Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:

  10. You look great in the red. I like the jacket a lot! Those wood carvings are really amazing. What detail!! Glad you got to reconnect with your friends!


  11. Wow, what amazing wood carving and to actually know the artist and see him creating... I'm speechless.

  12. I can see why this is your favorite outfit, you look fantastic in it! The wood carvings are gorgeous - thanks for sharing.

  13. What a beautiful coat! I have a dress in that same plaid, how...not surprising! I love that style of coat, and what a Cool Person to improve it so well for you.

    I don't have many people who swing in and out of my life. I have not patience for that.

    1. Ooh, I look forward to seeing that dress! The alteration on the jacket was a selling point for me.

      Ditto on the swinging in and out, which is very different from the deep enduring friendships which shift with distance and life changes.

  14. Oh Amber...
    I so love the photos! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming out and supporting us! And for posting here! It means a whole lot! And to your followers, thanks for the lovely comments about the wood carvings. Nyoman will be very happy to know about them.
    You look so gorgeous! More gorgeous every time we meet.
    Still beaming!!! Love Julie

    1. Aw, dear Julie! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting here.
      It was such a great day with you and Nyoman,

  15. Wonderful jacket, Amber. You always manage to surprise me, and that is fabulous, my friend.

  16. Nyoman's carvings are exceptionally beautiful - a talent to be admired, most definitely! You look impossibly elegant in the cape-like jacket and pencil skirt, especially in the photo where you are wearing your ray bans. Red and black is one of my favourite colour combinations and one that makes me feel very much me. As usual, your accessories are spot-on, particularly the button and button flowers!

  17. That jacket is divine! Love the plaid, love the offset neckline! (Will you be wearing it again on Friday for "Plaidurday?") Those carvings are stunning, such amazing work. I'm in awe of people who can create such beauty with hands and simple tools. The wood just seems to glow.

  18. What a fabulous jacket! The whole outfit is just wonderful.
    The wood carvings are amazing!I admire his talent.

  19. That is now MY fave outfit. I feel unbelievably honored that you shared it with my GoodWill Party, especially when the post and party had a rocky start. Red is fantastic on you, and you have the best accessories - and seriously talented artist friends. The carnelian pendant has my heart now :P

    1. Thank you for hosting the great get-together - the technical glitches were no detraction at all!

      The pendant is a very special piece - I was glad to visit it in person myself!

  20. You're so incredibly stylish in this outfit! The cut and the colours, and all the gorgeous accessories! The coat and the belt are perfect together, as well as the shoes and the bag!

    The wood carvings are fantastic, I love the flowers - are they made into pendants? Great to see your happy pictures!

    1. Thanks! There is a photo of one of Nyoman's pendant carvings in the last collage (upper right), but the other florals are ornaments for home / xmas tree. In the first collage, I have my fingers behind one, which goves you a hint of the scale. He also does an Om design.

    2. If the flowers were gilded they would make amazing Sacramento style pendants - and I'd love to wear one!

    3. Yes! Or amazing belt buckle, or clasp on a simple but dramatic coat or sweater, right?
      Just FYI, Nyoman does custom work and ships worldwide.

  21. It's wonderful to see the pics of you with your friends. And the carving is absolutely exquisite - what talent! You are owning that red jacket in every way.

  22. Beautiful, loving, caring, sharing. xo
    And I adore that plaid jacket! :-)


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber