Thursday, December 30, 2010


As I prepare for my next journey, I am trying to move through some of my fav's. 

So... as I make some of my treasures available for less to you, you must run: this sale will last until January 3rd only. New additions daily. Lot's of things from S.E Asia, where I will be shopping, replenishing and looking for new + exciting additions.

Taken in Pamplona, Spain on a trip long ago at the running of the bulls(I am above, taking the picture!)
I would love to receive your comments + suggestions on things you would like to see me shop for. I will be shopping until early February.

Thank you for all of your support in 2010 + have a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Preparing for the Hunt-First Stop Thailand

The holidays bring as much stress as they do joy. Each day as a business owner I am filled with fear! Fear of not selling enough, fear of selling too much, fear of no one showing up to a trunk show. Am I blogging enough? Too much? Have I overused Facebook?  Fear can be crippling and I lean on the side of drama.

Instead of allowing myself to drown in these all too real scenarios.....I begin flipping through photographs of places I have traveled and called on the memories of the personal bonds I have made while abroad. I realize that my next journey is around the corner and voila, the fear subsides and instead is replaced by textures, sounds, smells and the realization that the adventure will soon begin again. I do this so I can feed my addiction for street food, fresh exotic fruits, vintage textiles, beaches, antiques and shopping to create and sustain bonds with both my suppliers and customers!

I can feel the stress melting away. Near Phuket, Thailand

The inside of a Durian. A stinky, creamy fruit found in SE Asia.
Best described as having a succulent, creamy filling but smelling like stinky socks, ahh Durian
Rambutan, native to Indonesia, Thailand + the Philippines

Burmese Puppets Heads from a favorite spot in Chiang Mai
(Photo's from Roni + Ryan)

Be sure to check out my website for new items. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Turquoise is the birthstone for December. Europeans give turquoise jewelry as keepsakes or as a pledge of adoration. In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare uses this symbolism when Leah gives a turquoise ring to Shylock to win his favor. 

Turquoise is a cool color. It tends to have a calming effect.  At one end of the spectrum there are cold, impersonal, antiseptic colors. At the other end the cool colors are comforting and nurturing ones like the blue/ green in Turquoise.  In nature blue is water and green is plant life - a natural, life-sustaining duo. 

I love wearing Turquoise and whenever I can I try to incorporate it into the jewelry designed for The Loaded Trunk. Here are a few one-of-a-kind pieces for you December babes to adorn your body or your table.

These brilliant bangles from India are embellished with rhinestones and are hand-painted, giving a 3 dimensional Wow look.

The word Milagro mean miracle.  These small charms, often depicting arms, legs, praying people etc. are often carried for protection and good luck!
Jade stone Chinese pendant stamp is anchored by turquoise beads and asymmetrical graphite beads.
This earthy Turquoise bracelet is reconstructed using beads from around the globe and gives a nod to nature & natural elements.
A timeless Buddhist Amulet comes to life amidst lovely turquoise and hand tooled gold wrapped Uzbek beads.
These beautiful platters come from various artists in Turkey and are all hand made. I use them to serve in but they are delicate and need to be hand washed gently. They are beautiful pieces of art and each platter can be hung. (Photo's by The Loaded Trunk)                       

Friday, November 26, 2010

Affordable Art: The Ultimate Luxury?

“Art is the ultimate luxury.” I don't know where I found this quote but for me this is an untruth. "Like many of you, true one-of-a-kind art is a little bit out of my reach right now but I do not want my walls to be bare". This is another quote I found by a blogger that I take issue with! Art is like food for me, I MUST have it around me, this is my truth. I can't imagine thinking of art as a luxury. Sure, I don't own a Picasso, Dali, Jim Dine painting or an Arbus or Lebovitz photo. I do own a lot of amazing pieces from painters, print-makers, sculptors and photographers whose names remain anonymous and a collection of rare and disappearing folk art from around the world. All of these were purchased on a budget, traded for or found in markets here and abroad. One-of-a-kind art is everywhere and affordable. Apartment Therapy recently published a piece written by Sarah Coffey on this very subject. The piece below is from The Loaded Trunk, which was included in a group of affordable art work. The additional work is also from The Loaded Trunk and is From $25.00 to $200.00.
Miniatures from Rajasthan are intricate, small sized, colorful handmade folk paintings, executed with detail with very delicate brushwork The themes range from events, court life scenes, hunting scenes and wild life. $58.00

During the late nineteenth century, India established a printing Industry devoted to producing images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. These kitschy posters are all over India, except these 3-D embellished gems were a special find! $75.00

These wonderful and amusing prints are all bicycles. I did not meet this artist, but was taken by these whimsical prints while in one of my favorite galleries in Hanoi. In a city that was once safe to use a bicycle you hardly see any now! $45.00
The hill tribes in the northern areas of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Burma use these divination masks during Taoist ceremonies. These vintage ceremonial masks worn by the village Shaman are best-fit when framed with contemporary flare. $200.00
High quality reproduction of Vietnam War era Propaganda poster. Collectible, unique and affordable art from Hanoi; they are great pieces added to a unique office wall of art. $60.00

Vintage Mexican movie posters add cinematic scope to any entertainment area with movie melodrama.

Often framing is more expensive then the art. The artwork above was all framed by yours truly. Using reduced priced frames from local framers, glass cut to fit from an inexpensive glass vendor and mat board professionally cut or by yourself.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The NYC!

My daughter just moved to NYC! This is very exciting for her, but for me, well I have East Coast genes and have always loved Manhattan; its energy, eccentricities, and constant stimuli make it one of the greatest cities in the world.  I don't see myself living there full time, I have been spoiled by the ease of living in the Midwest for too long. Which is why I am delighted that she has moved there: this means lots of visits, buying trips, and discovering of new trends, designs, and styles. Last year in NYC we scoured the local markets and found some great African beads and attended a Tibetan Buddhist ceremony at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. I incorporated the beads into multicultural necklaces with beads from Turkey, Thailand, and Mexico and the beautiful Tibetan thangkas that we saw reminded me of the Vietnamese Yao ceremonial masks on The Loaded Trunk.

An array of colorful African beads in the markets of NYC.

necklace on the loaded trunk using all African beads.

necklace combining African glass beads and a Thai Buddhist amulet.

A Tibetan thangka on display at St. John the Divine.

A beautiful Tibetan sculpture which reminds me of my Burmese golden Buddhas.

While my daughter felt like the guy on the left after her move, she giggled at the eccentricities of the city.
I'd love to hear from you if you'd like to share your favorite NYC moments or give some tips on the best markets, restaurants, and hidden gems of the city that pop up as quickly as they fade into the next trend.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Diwali: Festival of Lights

Diwali, or Deepavali is the most important festival of the year in India and Sri Lanka. A 5 day Hindu festival, The Festival of Lights celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the triumphant return of Lord Rama. Upon his return the people of Ayodhya (the capital of Rama) celebrated Lord Rama's return by illuminating the countryside with clay oil lamps. This tradition is still practiced today.

A traditional oil lamp.
A coconut lantern from the loaded trunk.

I was recently in India with my daughter on a rather crazy and intense 2 month jaunt through the northern region of this fascinating country. Unfortunately, our trip did not coincide with Diwali but we were fortunate enough to experience many holy rituals throughout the holy sites and cities that we visited. One that stays with me is our time spent in the city of Varanasi. Considered to be the holiest of Hindu cities in the world, the literal center of the earth in Hindu cosmology, Varanasi is filled with holy people, celebrations, and temples. 
The nightly ritual honoring the Mother Ganga. 

A local Varanasi boy lighting candles in remembrance of the deceased.
(photos taken by the loaded trunk)
 As I was sitting here writing this I opened my inbox to find this lovely Diwali greeting that I leave you with:

Dear All,
May the Divine Light of Diwali Spread into your Life Peace, Prosperity, Happiness and Good Health
Happy Diwali to you & and your family.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

As many of us are recovering from candy gluttony and costumed frenzies many Mexicans are preparing for the Day of the Dead. This beautiful holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico tomorrow, November 2, to honor those loved ones who have passed on. While many may think this is a macabre and strange holiday filled with sugar skulls, dancing skeletons, and hours passed at graveyards, the Day of the Dead is a compassionate, mindful celebration of those missed. Mexicans prepare for All Souls Day by preparing the favorite foods and drinks of those who have passed and spending the day with family and friends at the graveside of the departed. My daughter, the obsessive collector of dolls, has many Day of the Dead dolls that I have on display throughout my house. As I was admiring these beautifully crafted ceramic and papier mache skeletons I decided to blog about this often misunderstood holiday and to share some photos of these enigmatic figures.     

Papier mache dolls with some spooky fall gourds.
A fraction of my daughter's ceramic collection.
Some papier mache figures more on the spooky side.

A doll I spotted on my recent buying trip to MX at the Museum in Morelia.

 And, finally, if you wish to introduce some Day of the Dead into your home, I have a number of handmade jewelry boxes that I picked up recently in MX.

So tomorrow, if you happen to think of those who have passed, think of them fondly and perhaps cook their favorite meal for dinner.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rue Debuts and Delivers

There has been quite a buzz about the new online magazine Rue.  It premiered just last month with a fabulous party in NYC which I unfortunately missed. Rue is a result of a collaboration between the talented duo Anne Sage of The City Sage and Crystal Gentillo of Plush Palate, two well known bloggers who co-founded Rue along with a group of behind-the-scenes talent.
A few of The Loaded Trunk's treasures were included in this issue's shoot.  It was so exciting to see some of my things borrowed and put to use with Rue's creative styling.
Crystal's living room with a Herki rug from The Loaded Trunk
I love the light in her bedroom with the Mexican bedspread from The Loaded Trunk. Notice the fabulous leopard print jacket in the mirror.
They so creatively used the dreamy silk ikat from Thailand as a floor cover.
(All photography Rue Magazine)

The photography, styling and writing in this first issue put this team of dynamic women in a group of exclusive magazine editors already. I can't wait to see what they have in store for the next issue due out in early November. Look for it at Thanks to Anne, Crystal, and their great design team for supporting small businesses!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Unmasked & Adorned

The Loaded Trunk is gearing up for our first real holiday season. Last year was the dress rehearsal. Here are some of my favorite new things, from Mexico, Turkey, Argentina and Thailand.
There is still time to sign up for our $100 worth of jewelry so please TAKE ADVANTAGE of us!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Collectors

I have a serious addiction. I am a collector by nature. It started from growing up abroad and picking up bits and pieces in other countries. This quickly turned into a textile/platters/artwork sort of obsession. Soon I was surrounded by too many things so I decided to start the Loaded Trunk to share some of the treasures (and to allow me to continue collecting). I am, however, not alone in my quest to collect.

My daughter Ryan has collected dolls since she was little. Here is a peek into one of her many doll-filled chests:

My son Michael has collected masks for years. Here are some of the fantastic masks on his wall:

My brother Stuart somehow began collecting Hellman's Mayonnaise jars which he hoards in overflowing kitchen cabinets. (No picture needed!)

My good friend Kelly has been an avid collector of American folk art for many years now and has an impressive collection. Here are some of her pieces recently exhibited at an Outsider Art show.
Kelly also has a terrific blog chronicling her journeys
As I am constantly collecting, buying, selling, and trading, I wonder what you collect? I would love to hear from all of you to try to incorporate your passions into my work as well.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Perfect Little Boy+The Loaded Trunk=Global Kids

When you are the ruler of your domain, owner of your own business, wearer of many hats one always must be prepared to change them, and fast! Last week during a planned photo shoot, at my home, which is also my warehouse, studio and office, I got a call early the morning of the shoot from my son saying he needed to bring my grandson, over for the day. They had forgotten there was no school that day. Oops...Rather then changing gears and re-scheduling the photographer I just went with the flow and figured it would work itself out.  Tina the photographer and I would have a 4 year old helper.  Oh, and we did.
sorry, this woolly snake is not longer available, a fair days wage for the perfect little boy.

He was amazing! It was such fun... Look for these shots in the new Global Kids category up on The Loaded Trunk soon.