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

Leonardo da Vinci, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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 (Jan./Feb. 2021) we cover the story of one of the most unusual paintings in history, the Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World), often attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, though its authorship remains hotly contested by conservators and art historians. Despite its additional sketchy provenance, it sold in 2019 for nearly half a billion dollars at Christies, New York, after which it disappeared again from public view. Its restoration remains a point of contention for many, though it’s really difficult to see how any conservator could have restored it perfectly, given the condition of the painting. Artist Stan Miller of Spokane, Washington, after wrestling with some details that didn’t seem to him in keeping with da Vinci’s style, embarked on an ambitious mission to recreate some idea of how the painting might have looked had it truly come under the hand of the great master. But let’s not spoil everything. If you enjoy detective stories, you will find some clues to ponder in our latest article on page 30: “The Gnarly Saga of the World’s Most Expensive Painting: A Cadenza.”

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’ve come a long way, baby!) And before someone says, “Personal style? You can’t be serious–you have three degrees,” let me tell you this: People with more degrees than that go to image consultants, so if it isn’t ‘serious,’ then tell me why they bother. 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.

Admittedly, my knowledge is geared more toward females, but aesthetics for men follow the same principles. Aly Art addresses male body types according to the Kibbe system in her video here. One of my favorite sites is Gentleman’s Gazette which specializes in classy style for men. Whatever your “type,” men, you can find a lot of great tips here.


— Memos —

Biting off more than I can chew . . . business as usual

Posting has slowed down a bit as my husband and I get ready for three articles in a row for our regular beloved magazine. Because the third article in line may be rather involved, it was necessary to get the others ready ASAP. We are going to spend a lot of time on this third one because it’s — well, complicated.

In the middle of all this, I am finishing a book we started nine years ago and had to put down because one of us was concentrating on words and the other on graphic layout. (You cannot do both at the same time as they use opposite sides of the brain.) We had to give it a rest. So about a week and a half ago, I picked up from where we’d left off, and wouldn’t you know, but things come together so much better when you are at rest in your heart and mind. My hopes are up . . . :) Update: as of 2/17/2021 I am now finishing the book, giving it the final touches. Only one chapter is left to be completely written!