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

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.”

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.

For All You Clutterbugs

Photo credit: lorinleecary on VisualHunt / CC BY

I’ve just added a page on Decluttering, that tells how I streamlined, not just my house, but my life. (I continue to idiot-proof my life on a regular basis.) It will remain in the header menu under the “Way Finding” category. Included are some resources I have found helpful as well as descriptions of the obstacles many of us have to work around in order to bring the ideal of decluttering into the day-to-day world that we inhabit. This is the prelude for another page I’m still working on, Decorating Freedom. A lot of people think that redecorating and adding storage space will fix everything — but usually it enables them to store more clutter until it spills over its boundaries again.  Don’t forget, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” So before you even think about spending time and money redesigning your home’s interior, consider the art of decluttering. You won’t regret it.

— Memos —

Busy but hope to be back soon. . .

Yes, it’s been quiet as of late. I’m still here but occupied with some other things. Am waiting on the results from an autosomal DNA test. It’s the capstone for research I left unfinished 10 years ago. I used FamilyTreeDNA, a company I trust. Why did I choose them? The simplest answer is that they already had my DNA from another test, so I didn’t have to go through the rigamarole again. The real reason I chose them again is that, unlike some companies, they don’t match your DNA to modern nations, but to people groups. People traveled in times past primarily with clans, not alone on highways to industrialized urban centers. For now I am left to guess what the test will show and this is my best guess based on what I already know:

First place: Some mix of Scandinavian, Germanic, Frankish something-or-other

Second place: Brythonic/British Celt

Up for Grabs: Cherokee (rumored), African (just because I’m a Southerner), Sephardic Jew (circumstantial evidence), Northern Kashmir, India (proven mtDNA), Ashkenazi (rumored)

“Wait, wait, don’t tell me!” That’s how I feel right now, sitting on the edge of my seat. I love the process of uncovering dark mysteries.

Videos Coming?

We’ll see. I’m currently experimenting with Rumble.com and have the placeholder in the menu above. Occasionally I get the sense that something I post needs to be unpacked. Bear with me as I figure this thing out.