IT’S HERE! For the last four months I’ve been working with a wonderful company based in Germany called ‘Stilnest‘.  They approached me about designing a jewelry collection with them (which is totally a bucket-list item of mine) and I dove in.  After our first phone call I knew I wanted to design based on the recurring theme in my recent paintings, steer and buffalo.  The more I researched the buffalo, the more it reminded me of a trip I took to Fort Apache where I spent a week enveloped in the beautiful and heartbreaking Indian community.  They were forever embedded in my heart.

So: how to present a Buffalo in a delicate design?  And a skull, no less, which is always over-used and a bit cliché.  What would be the secret to making this classy and fragile?  Beside my desk an early-century copy of “Last of the Mohicans” caught my eye.  I remembered the strength and beauty this film conjured in it’s blend of victorian, English gentility with the American Indians’ power, connection with nature and deep peace.

I began mood-boarding & sketching.


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The designs went through various stages of measuring, adjusting, adding a few elements to ensure the structure would hold…


We finally arrived at a design and structure details and then began the prototype building.  Stilnest was swift in delivering these and other than a color adjustment in the gold, everything was all set.



I’m so thrilled to present to you our ‘Buffalo Offering‘ collection, which launches TODAY on Stilnest.  You may choose from a lovely champagne 18k gold, silver or rose gold plated.   The design is inspired by the magnificent Buffalo who gave everything for the American Indian.  There was not one part of of buffalo that went to waste after it was killed.  The buffalo brought life, shelter, food, trade, comfort, and so much more.  The Buffalo is honored for giving until there is nothing left.  When you wear it I pray it reminds you to give sacrificially and to live without waste.


I’d also like to extend a huge thanks to the team at Stilnest for making this possible, as well as my friends Stephanie and Kyle at Honey & Silk for providing the beautiful photo above and all the promo pics for ‘Buffalo Offering’.  My most sincere thanks. I hope you enjoy my first collection and I hope there are more to come!  • • •  CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE  • • •

10% of proceeds will go to the Tanka Fund, which is returning buffalo to land, diets and economy of the American Indian people.

All my love,




The Modern Vintage No Frills Beach Day Packing Checklist

I know, we just spent the other day talking about fall fashion. Even if you’re gearing up for a new autumn wardrobe, we can only imagine you’ll be soaking up as many beach days as possible in the meantime. As glorious as spending a whole day nestled in between warm sand and sun, it’s always a bit of a production to get out there, even for those of us who call California home. We figured you’d rather by lying out in the sun at the beach than prepping for the beach, so we thought it’d be helpful to take some of the guess work out of packing that tote.

You’ve got your swimsuit (this one is Topshop), your accessories, and sunscreen. We’ll assume you’ve got a big tote in mind already, but if not this beach tote will literally fit anything. If you’re still on the terry cloth train do yourself a favor and finally try one of those cotton Turkish towels everyone is talking about. It turns out, there’s a reason they’re so popular: They’re super lightweight, their size is generally much more like a blanket than a towel, they’re cuter, AND you can seriously take them everywhere. They fold up into such a tiny bundle you could fit one in your evening clutch if you had to. Can’t go wrong with a product like that. Lastly you’ll regret not having a good on the go water bottle and a hydrating facial mist (rose and aloe is equal parts romantic and soothing), and don’t forget a good book! We love Big Magic or a good poetry anthology for our own beach days. Click on the yellow plus signs via the image above to shop the look!

4 Fall Staples You Can Snag at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

We’re all for sales here at Modern Vintage Life, but what’s the point if everything you score is out of season by the time you hand over your credit card? If you wait around for next year, you end up off trend or feeling stale. We’re much more interested in timeless pieces that eliminate the time constraint, so the Nordstrom sale is right up our alley. We did some digging and found 4 fall wardrobe and beauty classics available at #NSale that actually put you ahead of the curve. If you’re a Nordstrom card holder you’ve probably already been shopping this week, but the rest of us are gearing up to fill our virtual carts on July 22nd.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

What are we doing…

I’m having a hard time writing about makeup.  Or fashion.  Or luxury travel.  Especially that.  Because that gorgeous 5 star hotel on the beach (or in the middle of the city) is the perfect way to spend your vacation unless someone gets into a semi loaded with automatic weapons and drives into a crowd enjoying the evening fireworks display.  The hottest new nightclub is the perfect place to unwind and blow off some steam after work unless someone walks in with a machine gun and open fires on the dancing crowd.  That recipe I told you about is the perfect thing to cook for your visiting family and friends, unless you’re on your way the the grocery store and you’re black and someone in a uniform is a afraid of you so they shoot you.  Because you’re black and trying to get groceries.  Those in-season pleats and florals are the perfect look to wear to that concert, unless someone walks into the show strapped with a bomb and blows up half the crowd.

WHAT are we DOING?

I’ve been working for 3 months on a jewelry line that’s supposed to launch tomorrow.  Who the hell cares about jewelry right now?  I did a photoshoot two days ago with another blogger friend of mine for a big travel/packing post, I’m styling a shoot for a conde naste event next weekend, we have backlogs of posts about home decor and shoes and blah blah blah blah BLAH.  …What are we DOING?

Last night I went to a sports bar where CNN was on almost every TV broadcasting live from Nice— but everyone there avoided it, including me.  I drank my vodka tonic and played pool and chatted to my friends and NO ONE in that bar looked at the televisions around them for longer than a glance.  No one wants to deal with it.  Because HOW CAN WE?  The helplessness is overwhelming. Is there a wake-up point?  What has to happen for us to get off our apathetic asses and stop posting sentimental square pictures with quotes on them as our way of feeling connected or grieving during a tragedy?  It’s not enough.  A week from now we’re all going to be on about our business because (the) life (that still exists) has to go on.  We’re like a bunch of fucking ostriches.

I’ll tell you what the answer isn’t.  The answer is not “feel bad, be confused, get distracted by all the things you need to get done, still feel bad, say ‘what is the world coming to?’ with friends over oysters and martinis, feel scared, try to tell yourself ‘it’s not going to happen to me’ and continue until you numb it all out and it seems like it’s going away.”

It’s NOT going away.  It’s not fucking going away.  It’s NOT GOING AWAY.  IT’S.  NOT.  GOING.  AWAY.  IT’S NOT GOING AWAY!

So what do we do?

We can’t ignore it but we can’t live in fear, everyone can’t get on a plane and find a mess to clean up, not everyone can drop their lives to start a non-profit focused on educating young recruit-targets for terrorism, and you can’t possibly predict attacks of any sort so immediate prevention isn’t a real option, nor are you associated in any way with the kind of people who do attack… so what do you do?  What can we actually do?  I don’t mean to discount the incredible benefits of social media.  I think huge strides have been made for girls globally, #blacklivesmatter is crucial, awareness for all sorts of causes has been brought to global spotlight because of the positive side of social media crowd-mentality.  It is truly wonderful to see how many people agree on these things and make their voices heard.  I truly love that.  But is it really enough?  Is that all we can do— POST something??

It seems to me we have three options: Be apathetic, be afraid (ostrich), or pray.

I literally do not care what religion you are (or are not).  Maybe you’re agnostic.  If you’re atheist, I don’t know what to tell you- maybe you have a different option that I haven’t thought of here.  But there has to be a reason why millions of people say “prayer works”.  Some say it’s the least you can do, I think it’s one of the most powerful things you can do but if that’s not your bag right now I’m not sweating it.  My point is that we, the public, are at a dead-end.  If there is nothing else you can do— you CAN pray.  You can wake up 20 minutes early in the morning and sit up in bed and say “Hey God, I don’t know if you’re out there, but we’re pretty fucked up down here and I believe if you are real that you could really help us.  Please help us.  Please help us.”  You can ask for wisdom.  You can ask for truth to be revealed.  You can ask for God to help you know how you can make a difference in your own community.

I mean, are we actually ready to live sacrificially or what?  What if by sacrificing 20 minutes of extra sleep to pray— your whole world changes?  What if by sacrificing 4 of the meals where you eat out every month and sending the money to support an organization educating at-risk teens— their whole world changes?  Whatever your level of wealth and power, it comes with an ability to live sacrificially that is proportional. (agh that could start a whole other discussion, but I won’t right now).

If it’s literally the least you can do- Pray.  If it’s the most you can do- Pray.  Pray constantly.  Live and love and be grateful and have joy and don’t live in fear and anguish, but be aware all the time and acknowledge that awareness by asking for help- by praying.  Even if you don’t believe in God… on the off chance you’re wrong, and for the sake of doing something… can you just do it anyway?

We’re in dire straights on planet earth right now.  It may be the only real thing we can do.

How to Wear Cream Blush (without the Meltdown)

We’ve talked fashion a lot lately, but an outfit is only complete when the beauty look is perfected too. That doesn’t mean a full face of makeup with each outing, but the right look for each ensemble and occasion too. This may come as a surprise, but cream blush is one insanely versatile product to keep in the makeup bag: it can go from subtle to bold in a swipe, is available in every shade imaginable, and is THE best way to get that glowing, slightly dewy look that looks natural yet polished – You know, that contradictory effortless look that you actually try really hard to achieve?

Luckily with this particular product, you don’t have to try too hard to get it right.

how to wear cream blush

Your Next Summer Staple: 12 Sunglasses to Play Faves with

With overstock from 4th of July discounts and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale just around the corner, July is one of the best times to buy summer shades. The hype over all the new seasonal must-haves has dissipated (and thus the markups) yet you still need to get through a good two (or if you’re in a nice-year-round kind of place, twelve) plus months of sunglass wearing weather. These are all chic and modern with a vintage flair, and most of them are marked down at their respective retailers too. Let us know what you’re eyeing this month (bad pun… we know.):

Best Designer Sunglasses 2016 | Modern Vintage Life

1. Balenciaga Cat Eye in Rose
2. Gucci Cat Eye
3. Radiant in Gold & Pink
4. Classic Retro Sunglasses
5. Ray-Ban Metallic Aviators
6. Kate Spade Retro Sunglasses in Shaded Cement
7. Reflective Shades
8. Lulu in Tortoise
9. The Wild Gift Retro Cat Eye
10. Tom Ford Priscilla
11. Kate Spade Retro in Mousse
12. Clement in Rose Dust

It’s a good idea to have at least one classic, go-with-anything pair of sunglasses. Pale pinks, classic tortoise shell prints, and natural solids with metallic accents are beautiful, classic color palettes to go with. When it comes to choosing the best shape of sunglasses, consider two things: face shape and hair. There are guides like this one all over the internet (of course) but it really boils down to what flatters YOU individually. Wayfarer and round lenses with a partial frame are safe bets, but when the occasion calls for a subtle, retro cat-eye, anyone can pull it off (with the right lipstick). Think about how your BROWS and BANGS will either be hidden or amplified by each style too. It helps to reminisce about your fave old pairs for a moment, and try to find a similar structure within a fresh new one.

Sunglasses like the red cat-eye and all the reflective versions above are like your most vibrant bikini: you don’t sport it every time you head to the beach, when you do it changes the whole vibe.

Art for Everyone: 9 Arts + Culture Events to Explore in LA This Month

When you do a quick Google search for arts and entertainment events, and live in a city as big as Los Angeles, you are really in for it. The arts community is particularly, unsurprisingly active here, and it’s definitely not all film and comedy (though there’s lots of that too, which we love!). At the same time, locals are notorious for sticking within their neighborhood circles. This July, travel beyond your normal borders and hit up a new museum, theatre, or event that you have yet to explore.

Downtown LA

Summer Florals: Lightweight ‘n Lovely (Like They Should Be)

If you’ve been thinking of florals as something either to be left behind with your grade school days or as a spring staple meant to be work exclusively at festivals you spent way too much time preparing fashion for, well, both of those are semi-true. But that doesn’t mean they can’t also, when done differently, come off as mature AND flirty, playful AND elevated. With the right colors, fabrics and cuts, these summer florals are much more sophisticated (and yet, fun!) than your run-of-the-mill flower child look.

Summer Florals |

Church On The Blog: Giving Your Gifts

Today’s inspiration for the week ahead comes to us from a quote that has been floating around my our minds lately. (It’s a well known quote that’s been attributed to all the most quotable artists of our time, like Shakespeare, Picasso, and more, but the general consensus (on Google anyway) is that no one’s really sure who said it when. Let’s just think that the author gave away his or her gifts for the greater good of Pinterest and blogs and general musings.) You don’t necessarily need to pursue an outwardly charitable vocation or even commit to one particular path in life to first of all, have gifts, and second to be able to give your gifts away.


We want to encourage you to put yourself out there. Test the waters a bit. Because the fact is that we all have different things we can offer to society, and again I mean just affecting other people on a deeper level, so it’s kind of a disservice to not DO anything with that power. Everyone’s gifts are different, but with all that’s gone on in the world recently, and always, it’s about time we thought about what good we can put out: good deeds, good vibes, good work. Things that not only we believe make the world better, but that we think others may connect with too. It doesn’t have to be a big, sweeping gesture. You don’t have to quit your day job.

Nor do you need to have millions of followers on Instagram or publish a whole shelf of books or receive the kind of public recognition for your work that many are after these days. Those are all kind of “would be nice” side effects, but the truth is that just by being you, you’re presenting something to the world. For example, those of you who are artists, actors, writers, musicians. If you’re like, “that’s me!”, you’ve already found your gift. If you’re still searching, not to worry, that’s why it’s called the meaning of life. It takes a lifetime for many to find it. Often, they’re giving gifts away without even knowing it, which is kind of a romantic notion in itself. But whether you label the gift that is Y-O-U anything specific, this is what you’re putting out into the world. Don’t hold it in. Don’t keep it to yourself.

To recap, here are the steps 1) Find your gift, 2) Put it out there. That’s all there is to it.