Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

2012: Desperately seeking balance

January 3rd, 2012

Nadine Kam photo
Posting photos of animals and hay bales, below, took more time in 2011 than perhaps necessary.

On New Year’s Eve, I received a message from MauiShopGirl blogger Tania Ginoza, regarding sharing my New Year’s resolutions.

At that point, I hadn’t given it much thought beyond not making any resolutions. First, I had the flu going into the new year, and when you’re sick, the future is last thing on your mind. There’s only the present miserable state.

Second, last new year I was caught up in the rush of the Post A Day movement, joining other bloggers around the world in pledging to post daily. “How hard could it be?” I thought at the time. I was already posting four to five times a week. What’s another couple of posts?

Well, my daily posts lasted about a month. Those two last posts, I found, were the difference between what one of my bosses calls “therapy,” and stress-inducing obsession. And when it comes to a choice between mental health and insanity, the choice is easy.

Hay bales in Lakeville, CT, July 2010.

I am entering my fifth year of blogging (August 2007), and fifth year on Twitter (May 2007). I take responsibility for turning a whole lot of people on to Twitter over a couple of evangelical years, but in the middle of last year, I cut back on my interactions. While on vacation in New York, then in nothing-going-on Lakeville, CT, I finally figured out how much time I was putting into social networking. With all the time in the world, and nothing going on around me, it was taking four hours a day to simply upload a handful of photos and manage conversations on Twitter, Facebook and Foodspotting. It’s a lot of time when you add in regular work hours and even though much of it is fun, it adds a layer of stress when you start feeling it’s something you must do at any cost.

I’d already cut back my blogging hours the previous year. When I started, it wasn’t unusual to stay up til 3 in the morning blogging and editing video. For us much as we talk about sustainability, those kinds of hours are not sustainable over time.

Now, six months after I cut back, I’m seeing new year stories along the lines of Pico Iyer’s “The Joy of Quiet,” extolling the joys of or desire to escape the information stream. I think that escape is impossible for anyone who wants to have any kind of career or relevance in the future. That information stream is as much a part of our culture as radio was in the 1930s to ’50s, and television from the 1950s through ’80s. But, I believe it’s possible to occupy physical and online worlds in a way that allows one to be human, not machine. And, so I arrived at  my personal buzz word for 2012, which is “balance.”

If it ever comes down to a choice, I’ve always known that I prefer to live life on a human scale rather than the scattershot of bits and bytes.

John Hardy designer drops in to Neiman

December 11th, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

Two John Hardy naga necklaces in sterling silver with black sapphires.

Guy Bedarida, head designer and creative director for John Hardy, presented a trunk show pieces from his new Cinta, Bedeg and Naga collections, plus showed some one-of-a-kind designs at Neiman Marcus Dec. 7.

Pieces appeared to be selling fast across the board with Bedarida kept busy engraving new purchases, but of most interest now and into the new year are his Naga pieces, inspired by the dragon of Bali, said to be a protector of its people, who watches over them from the mountaintops.

His pieces cover several aspects of dragon lore, from the beast’s love of pearls, which it dives into the depths of the ocean to sleep with at night, to the articulation of its scales, which drip water as it climbs back onto the mountaintops, spreading the water which gives the land its verdancy.

On his bracelets, the dragon has a mouth that opens and closes to clasp and release the jewelry, and his instructions are to wear the mouth pointed outward fro protection from the world and frenemies, and inside if you want to bring love, spirituality and peace to your being.

After an impressive career working at such prestigious houses as Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels in Paris and the United States, Bedarida was wooed by the beauty of Bali to work at John Hardy’s 36-acre compound in Mambai, and in 2007, he and a partner purchased the management of the John Hardy Group, where he continues the company’s mission of maintaining the Balinese legacy of handcrafted work, and as caretakers of the land as well. For each piece of John Hardy jewelry sold, the company plants bamboo.

The company also maintains a vast organic farm that feeds its all of its 650 employees daily. We need more of that kind of enlightened thinking here!

John Hardy head designer and creative director Guy Bedarida shows a photo of the company compound in Mambai, Ubud, Bali, where each piece of jewelry is crafted by hand.

Bedarida shows his Naga bracelets, facing outward to offer protection from any bad vibes and negativity.

Kristen Chan, left, was admiring a cuff Catherine Lin was wearing.

Some of the John Hardy’s one-of-a-kind pieces, including koi bracelet.

Brianna Acosta wears some of the pieces. The unusual, and somewhat dangerous-looking earrings caught my eye. (more…)