Going Back to Cali

Our friend, massage therapist and healer Tawny Harrington, with her daughter.

After spending some time in the Southwest, we went back to Southern California for the rest of the fall, where we spent over two months  living at Down-to-Earth Ecoshire. Down-to-Earth Ecoshire is a 35 acre plot of land in Sage, CA, 1 hour down from Idyllwild, owned by our friends and hosts Jim and Dawn, and a few partners. They have been doing a lot of work to turn this parcel into a model eco village and intentional community. They are in the early stages. The process is long and tough. Their work entails digging trenches to run water lines from wells on the property, clearing debris from around the property and areas where the first structures will be built. They are using all kinds of things that were dumped for years on the unused plot, as landfill.

Down-to-Earth Ecoshire in Sage, CA, with a view of Tahquitz Peak in the San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild.

The ecoshire was the perfect spot to stay, work and host fun times with friends that came down from Idyllwild to camp, share potlucks, shoot bow and arrow, target practice and enjoy massages under a beautiful Palo Verde tree. It was truly a magical place. We had the view of Tahquitz Peak and Idyllwild in the distance, the surrounding hills, stunning boulders, a 360 degree view of blue skies and the most gorgeous sunsets.

Dylan at Down-to-Earth Ecoshire.
Getting a massage under the beautiful Palo Verde tree.
Tawny massaging Dylan under that magical Palo Verde tree.

You can’t see it, but Tawny, above, is wearing an ORG BY VIO Awajun Enkepa Breastplate as she massages Dylan and practices bow and arrow. She wears ORG BY VIO jungle bling pretty much daily, even when she carries her daughter around in her arms.

I did a couple of pop-ups in Idyllwild at our favorite hangout, El Buen Cacao. Such a great cafe to do some work and have our friends come by for a visit while shopping, sipping on delicious pure cacao drinks and eating real chocolate truffles from EBC. Win, win all the way!

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El Buen Cacao’s CEO, Sofi.
Jungle bling and the Sage & the Butterfly at El Buen Cacao.

Dylan made a few knives and razors in the two months we were there. He also did some forging demonstrations for the kids and friends in a makeshift forge that he made from found resources at the land. Knowing how to make tools with found materials is a good survival skill.

Dylan working on a knife.

Dylan grinding metal.

Dylan using a makeshift forge.
Dylan shaving with a really sharp knife he finished.

I also spent a few days up in Idyllwild, where I was invited by the Idyllwild Arts Academy to be a juror for the students’ upcoming end of the year fashion show. Over the weekend the students presented the work they developed during the last semester in the fashion and costume department. They came up with really artistic expressions for their fashion design project themed We Are Different.

Idyllwild Arts Academy Fashion Show. Note: students used faux fur.
Structure by Maeve Gillespie, Idyllwild Arts Academy Fashion Show, Dec. 2017.
The Outsider by Cathy Xu, Idyllwild Arts Academy Fashion Show, Dec. 2017.

Since I sold my Prius, I didn’t have a way to get up the mountain. We only have the truck that hauls our home on wheels, now. Luckily, friends that were down near us came and got me a few times. Getting a ride down the mountain when Dylan couldn’t get me, made it perfect to hang out with friends a few days at a time and visit some Idy spots, like Plant Food Supper Club, El Buen Cacao, Higher Grounds, Fratello’s, Middle Ridge Winery, where they also serve yummy PFSC food and Mountain Mike’s. The movie Coco was playing at The Rustic theater while I was in Idyllwild. Tawny, her children and a few other friends went to see the movie. We all went with Dia de Los Muertos painted faces in honor of Coco.

Dylan and Mountain Mike at his store.
Tawny and I at Higher Grounds getting my face ready to see Coco at The Rustic theater, Idyllwild.
Kilo with Dia de los Muertos face paint before heading to see Coco.

Photographer friend Deborah Anderson opened a gallery in Idyllwild where she showcases her beautiful photographic work. Her gallery has added a new dimension to already magical Idyllwild. It’s a great addition on the mountain. The gallery opening brought people from Los Angeles and vicinity with a fun dance after party back at her place.

Deborah and filmmaker Adam Schomer at her new gallery in Idyllwild.

Travel to the future from her Idyllwild gallery opening… Deborah has an exhibit till June 25th at Leica Gallery in Los Angeles, titled Women of the White Buffalo. While on location, Deborah created powerful and enchanting still photographs from her upcoming documentary on Lakota women and the tragic reality they face. Go see this, if you are in LA.

Women of the White Buffalo exhibit at Leica Gallery in LA through June 25th, 2018.

Filmmaker friend Adam Schomer, who made it up to Deborah’s opening in Idyllwild – who is also a producer on Deborah’s documentary on Lakota women – had a screening of the documentary film Heal that he produced. A few friends joined me at the screening in Palm Springs. Heal explores the power of our own minds, thoughts and bodies to heal. You can watch this insightful documentary on iTunes. Adam is also developing the follow up to his film, The Highest Pass, a docuseries called The Road To Dharma. where I sing on three songs by composer Michael Mollura.

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Filmmaker Adam Schomer, left.

We ventured to Los Angeles a couple of times to see our godson and visit with our LA tribe. It was so much fun to see friends from our different circles come together, before we headed east to Florida for the holidays and the entire winter.

Me at LACMA in Los Angeles.
Farewell potluck in Los Angeles, CA.
We hiked Imperial Sand Dunes before leaving California.
Imperial Sand Dunes.


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I am the one overseeing this website, creating content, posting, sharing... While we are both creative artists, Dylan prefers to spend little time on the screen. I enjoy creating as much as playing with the social aspect of this virtual space. I love to sing, swim, paint, design, dance, skate, surf (though I haven't in way too long), yoga, being with family and friends, naps, though I rarely take one. Born in Peru and raised in New York City, I am a designer by trade, artist from the heart, ecopreneur and vegan. A lover of people, planet and culture.

You can follow me and my work on Instagram @violetavillacorta | @violetavillacorta_official | @violetavillacorta_art | @ORGbyvio | @theSageandtheButterfly | Twitter @viointheamazon | www.violetavillacorta.com | www.orgbyvio.com | www.wildvioletmusic.com