Welcome to The Sea Pearl, a collection of curiosities, essays, and guiding principles that inspire my life and everything in it. My mission is to explore what matters in the universe — and then to embrace the best.

Art Subjects

Mata Hari. Color by Klimbim.

Breaking: Get ready. Next issue we’re going international!

If you are interested in art subjects, please check out Art Chowder magazine, a Northwest regional publication which my husband, Melville Holmes, writes for (with help from moi). In this month’s issue (Mar.-Apr. 2021) we cover the amazing work of a PhotoShop colorist from Moscow, Olga Shirnina, who works under the name of Klimbim. You will be amazed to see long dead historical figures, until now appearing only in black-and-white prints, popped up in color. It is a little strange, as if they have risen from their graves and have come back to claim their places in the world’s drama. I am still saying, “Wow!” every time I look at some of the images. This issue we are back on page 30 with : “Black-and-White Turned to Color, Changes of Tide: Bad, Good, Beautiful.

In case you didn’t know, you can read Art Chowder online for free. You can also purchase it at many book shops.


Growing Food in an Urban Parkway

Photo credit: Seattle Parks & Recreation on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Have you ever admired someone so much that on first impact you were absolutely flummoxed? We got the latest copy of Veranda magazine in the mail today and discovered this amazing urban gardener, Ron Finley: “Health is not just what you eat. It’s what you see, what you smell, what you feel.” I’ve never been to Los Angeles where he lives, but I can imagine the urban scene there. He fought city hall, as it were, and won the right to plant in the urban parkway where he lives. What he has to share has implications, not only for city beautification, but for the homeless epidemic and teaching youngsters how to actually do stuff again (and where food really comes from). It is time we get back to the land — even if we live in the city — and stop this push button living and dependency on other people to take care of us. Let’s learn to live like functioning human beings again, each one teaching one.

Inspirational Spaces

Photo on VisualHunt.com

For me, decorating is all about freedom and idiot-proofing your life, but it’s also about beauty, quiet spaces, and room to dream. If you ever wondered why you can’t achieve an Architectural Digest home no matter how hard you try, perhaps this is why: You really live in your home (unlike those other people whose homes appear in magazines). Additionally, there may be other people in your household who are messy, have aesthetic sensibilities different from yours, or perhaps you move around a bit and what worked in one abode doesn’t work in the next. Decorating Freedom is a practical set of pages I’ve put in the menu above to help you reconcile your busy life with the space you truly inhabit. 

Beyond the Silver Glass: My Journey from “Fashion” to Strutting My Stuff

Greek chiton, 19th-C. engraving.

Life is a string of obstacles. Our job is to engineer solutions so we can get from here to there–wherever that may be. “Beyond the Silver Glass” describes my long journey from modeling school to style-and-image consulting systems — and more.  I found much more than style on this journey, for it also led me to Lifestyle Mapping and taught me much that has benefited me in helping my other half develop color-and-design projects for hotels and other public spaces. (Plus I have helped a lot of other people with personal style.) See my page Style Freedom for more in-depth discussion. I will show you how I work my formula: Aesthetics + Personality + Context = Style.



— Memos —


Do you ever wonder if what you write hits its intended target? After finishing the main part of a book I’d been working on for nine years, I sent a friend a pdf file containing four pages from a mock-up. “What do you think?” I asked. She painted a word picture of all that was in her mind upon reading the material. She was able to fill in the unspoken parts exactly as they were, even though I hadn’t spelled it all out in the writing. It was so affirming. Guess we are just about ready to print! Now to scramble for the funds to do it.

Now What Have I Got Myself Roped Into?

A couple of things: Am considering putting up an unofficial shop here to sell some extra (beautiful) things my husband has kicking around. And reading a thick book by a late Jesuit priest on Native American artifacts and figuring out where to go with that. It just never ends . . .