Happy Planting w/ Alison Annes

Posted on June 09, 2018 by Kristin Kelly


 Alison Annes is her own bouquet: a dynamic arrangement of all forms of beauty, adding flourishes of color to the day. Florist by trade, life-enthusiast by nature, and an expert in "what looks good together", her expertise keeps plants and customers alike happy (and artfully arranged) at Ode. Everyone has been long awaiting this Ode art workshop! Choose from succulents and plants Alison has personally selected, and learn how to properly plant and care for your creations. And Alison will be there in all her glory (and wisdom), which means you will get to bask in in! We've reserved two nights for the workshop: June 13th and 14th, 6-8PM. There are still a few openings, so call or stop by Ode to sign-up! 

What’s your first memory of learning how to grow something?
In the garden with my Mum growing her prize winning roses, using her secret recipe fertilizer.

Best smelling flower?
It's so cliché, but a beautiful lavender rose called Ocean Song.

Spirit plant?
Yarrow

Other than working at Ode, what have been some of your favorite jobs?
Working at Adobe Flowers, where I learned so much from my mentor, Miss Nikki. Owning my own
flowers shops was a great accomplishment! My best job ever though was working on a horse
farm every summer as a child, payment was a ride at the end of a long day!

Top three rules of green-thumb?
Select plants that will do well in your home's environment.
Don’t be scared! Plants tend to intimidate us, don’t let them!!
Set a watering schedule, most plant problems stem from watering too much or too little.


What makes you blossom?
My grandson, watching him devour life with such enthusiasm. Oh, to be 7.

Favorite plant to cook/eat? How do you prepare it?
I love fresh herbs! Have to say Cilantro in homemade salsa, it’s such a sassy herb!

Where do you go to picnic, and what’s in your basket?
My favorite place is by a river, and my basket must have roast ham, salad, cheese, pickled
onions and sausage rolls...and a good bottle wine!


What’s your go-to gardening song?
Landslide. I yell along to it, forget my worries, and get lost in the dirt!

How does nature speak to you?
It calms me. If I close my eyes all my fond memories come from the sea, carpets of bluebells in
the woods, picking wild blackberries with my granddad.

Reserve your spot for Alison's Happy Planting Workshop by stopping by or calling Ode: 413-727-8026!



                                                   Photos by Chattman Photography
 

Time’s Up and The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts

Posted on May 01, 2018 by Kristin Kelly

Ode is hosting its second annual Auction for Action on May 11-13, a silent art auction featuring a curated collection of art, jewelry, and clothing. Inspired by the rising tide of women speaking out and for each other, Ode will be donating all the proceeds from this year's Auction for Action to Time's Up and The Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts.  Join us in supporting these incredible organizations on May 11-13, by bidding in-store or on our Instagram page, or attending our aunch party on Friday, May 11, 6-8pm.

The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts fuels progress toward gender equity by funding the most promising solutions, collaborating with results-oriented partners, and by elevating the collective power of local women to take charge, and to lead with purpose. 

Since 1997, Women’s Fund has awarded over $2.5 million to more than 150 nonprofit organizations helping to build long-term, sustainable, change through:
Leadership Development – 250+ women trained to lead communities in public, private and policy leadership roles through our Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI).
Local Investment – 3 million women and their families in Massachusetts are impacted through strategic partnerships and grant making.
Shared Vision – Over $2,500,000 has been invested by donors.



Powered by women, Time's Up addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have
kept underrepresented groups from reaching their  full potential. They partner with leading advocates for  equality and safety to improve laws, employment  agreements, and corporate policies; help change the  face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable. Time's up wants all victims and survivors to be able to access justice and support for the wrongdoingtheyhave endured.  By lifting up the voices, power, and strength of women working in low-wage industries, Time's Up hopes to help put an end to the lack of financial stability that makes women vunerable to high rates of gender-based violence and exploitation in the workplace.

Alison Advises: Plant Tips for Spring

Posted on April 22, 2018 by Kristin Kelly

In honor of Earth Day and our love for providing a place for all living things, we decided to sit down with Alison, our resident florist and plant guru, to give us her top tips and tricks to having the greenest thumb in your own personal space.  

I love the idea of making sure we are checking our plants all year long, but Spring is a great time to think about fertilizing, repotting, as well as taking cuttings and separating plants.  If you want your plants to be bold and beautiful, you have to dig deeper into the soil. I am going to share a few of my tips and tricks on how to display plants in containers throughout your house in an upcoming Ode Art Workshop (June 13 & 14), so be sure to join us!

FRESH AIR
Spring is a good time to take your houseplants outside. Once the temperature is warm enough, to give them a good wash and a sheltered but sunny day on your porch.  Your plants need to get some fresh air too!

FERTILIZING
Definitely think about fertilizing in the Spring, but be careful with indoor plants because they don't need as much as you may think.  Some indoor plants require very little fertilizer and some plant types require their own special formula. It's always best to check what your specific plant needs and start with a balanced fertilizer which you can always get from a great local garden store.  Usually, the 20/20/20 and 30/20/20 fertilizer varieties (the numbers correlate to nutrition values such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) are what is recommended as a general guideline, but it is best to know your plants on a individual basis.

REPOTTING
Repotting is always advised when you bring a new plant home but not always needed or necessary.  Some plants like overcrowded pots, some like going solo, so always check before you decide to repot (reference resources below for more info). One of the most important things with plant care and repotting is buying very high quality, organic soil.

CUTTINGS & SEPARATING
Even though we are talking Spring, cuttings can be done throughout the year.  Plant cuttings are basically an easy way to multiply your plants! Some of the easiest plants to start with are Spider Plants, Wandering Jews, and Anthuriums. These varieties are great beginner plants as well.  Something I’ve learned this year is the easiest plants to grow are Bromeliads...did you know that they have pups (the pups are their babies that grow beside the mother plant in the same pot!). These pups are easily separated to make more fabulous potted Bromeliads for all over your house. But remember, if you have pets, always check when bringing a new plant into your home so that your fur babies are safe around them.

Alison’s Favorite Resources for Plant Tips, Necessities & Inspiration:

The Sill - NYC (www.thesill.com)
Hilton Carter (IG @hiltoncarter)
Jamie’s Jungle - London (IG @jamies_jungle)
Conservatory Archives London (https://www.conservatoryarchives.co.uk/)
Local Garden Stores: Andrew’s Greenhouse, Hadley Garden Center

Be sure to join us at the next Ode’s Art Workshop with Alison on June 13 & 14, where Alison will educate and guide us on creating a beautiful planters to decorate your home or patio. Stay tuned for more info!

Heather Maloney

Posted on April 12, 2018 by Kristin Kelly

                                          
                                                                              [All photos by Chattman Photography]

Artist, activist, and adamanent coffee connoisseur, Heather Maloney is the kind of woman you want at your table. Listening to her songs makes you feel like you have a close friend in the room. Through music, she tells stories of love and loss, heartbreak and heart-mending.  We were lucky enought to get to hang with Heather and play dress up for a day, and she couldn't have been more gracious and humble...characteristics sometimes rare in a person with so much talent and prowess. Join us in welcoming Heather and her songs to Ode on Friday, April 13th, from 6-8PM.  

What inspires you to write a song?
Most of my songs are silver linings; the brightest and shiniest things I could drudge up from my darkest and gnarliest experiences. That sounds dramatic, but it's true for me. When I'm struggling with something I write it into a song and I usually write my way into the bright side of it. My mom is a psychotherapist (sometimes that's more obvious than I'd like), and growing up in a household where talking about feelings was as normal as talking about what to eat for dinner ("I'm sorry for unconsciously projecting my need for validation onto you yesterday at the recital. Do you want pizza or pasta?"). The parallels between therapy and songwriting have shaped me fully, and many of the same reasons someone might go to therapy are the same reasons that prompt me to write songs.

What's your most rockstar outfit?
I don't own it yet, but I've been on a quest for leather pants for some time. They don't have to be real leather they just have to fit perfectly. Where are they, dammit?? 


What's your favorite place to perform?
On a single tour I'll perform in a grand theater one night and a living room the next. I can say honestly that some of the most memorable, electric moments have happened in the smaller listening rooms. There is something that just can't be replaced when the room gets bigger; a connectivity and a feedback loop between performer and audience that is just so contained, undiluted and pure magic. 

You just released a song, "How Many More". Can you tell us about the impetus for writing and recording it?
My February tour took me through Florida, right after the Parkland school shooting. I heard the news when I was staying in Orlando, right down the street from the Pulse nightclub, where over the past 2 winters I've watched the walls around the building become an ever-changing shrine of rainbows, candles, flowers and notes. About 10 minutes across Route 4, La Plaza Live was where I'd played my first show in Orlando, only a few months before singer Christina Grimmie was shot and killed standing at the same merch table I stood at. Listening to the horrifying live reports from Parkland, I was hit with a nauseating feeling of total immersion... of being totally immersed in a culture of gun violence that has run so rampant and so wildly out-of-control that it's evidence could be seen in every direction. It was everywhere. I went back to my cottage and picked up my guitar, thinking that if I could write out the feeling maybe I'd be able to shake the feeling of helplessness. I tried to write but nothing worth keeping came out, just some sloppy emotions with zero clarity. A few days of consuming news later, there she was. Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez gave a speech that moved me to my core and lit my heart on fire. I picked up my guitar again, and this time a song came pouring out, fully formed. The song title was clear too: How Many More. 


I had a show in St. Augustine Florida that night, and for the first time in my 8 years of touring, I wrote and performed a song in the same day. I played How Many More again the following night in Sarasota. After each show I promised a number of people that I'd take an iphone video and post it in a few days. I never did. It dawned on me that the song could be utilized in a more powerful way than just a facebook post.

So I got on the phone and asked for a whole bunch of favors from a whole bunch of people, and amazingly every single person said YES. Within a couple of weeks we'd recorded, mixed, mastered, filmed and released 'How Many More' without spending a cent so that literally 100% of the proceeds generated have gone (and are still going!) directly to gun control advocacy groups (Everytown & Mom's Demand Action). I was blown away by the generosity of the entire group of volunteers and I've been blown away by how much support has poured in from downloads, donations & streams. (Here are all of the generous people who volunteered their time, skills & resources: Signature Sounds Recording Co, Ryan Hommel, Andrew Oedel at Ghost Hit Records, Melissa McClung, Kevin Butler at Test Tube Audio, Susa Talan and, what do you know, Ode Boutique!!)



If you could bring back the Lilith Fair, who would perform?
Oh yesssss I love this question. So many songwriters-who-happen-to-be-female are killing it right now. Aimee Mann's last record is still on repeat so hopefully she'd come and play the whole damn thing. I'm With Her is a super-group that has blessed us all. Laura Marling I will love forever and ever amen. Courtney Barnett, The Staves, Tori Amos, Regina Spektor, Lori McKenna, Emmylou Harris, Jesca Hoop, Brandi Carlile, Lucinda Williams, Phoebe Bridgers, HAIM, First Aid Kit, Anais Mitchell, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, The Weather Station, Julien Baker, Neko Case, Valerie June, Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin, there are so many more!! But seriously I'd die from happiness if all of these women played a single festival. I would just cease to exist. 

PS - NOWHERE in the festival write-ups would be read the words "Female Singer-Songwriter".  At THIS festival we'd know that that's not a fucking genre. All of these women are in different genres and NONE of them have to do with their gender! (sorry I just had to vent)


What are your daily rituals on the road?
1 - finding the snobbiest most delicious pour-over coffee in whatever city I wake up in.  2 - Podcasts podcasts podcasts. So much van-time.  3 - Find two minutes to breath/meditate before the show.  4 - Lavender diffuser and classy-AF-single-serve Sutter Home = hotel room of my dreams.

You spent years studying at a meditation center. What is your relationship with meditation now?
On a silent retreat, meditation can be very structured. Each day there is a rhythm and pattern, a certain amount of hours spent doing sitting meditation, walking meditation, attending a Dharma talk... you eat at the same times, sleep at the same times, watch the same breath, bow to the same Buddhas, wash the same dishes, walk down the same path through the same woods. It's quiet. The silence is everywhere, and eventually it grows inside of you too. It's a container, with just the right conditions to support this inner-stillness. 

When I stepped outside of that container to start my life as a touring musician, I stepped into a world that was the complete opposite in so many ways. Very little to no structure at all. No rhythms or patterns, eating and sleeping at different times in different time-zones on different pillows each and every night. It's not quiet. It's hand-shaking and restaurants and thin hotel walls and traffic and sound-check. It's constant sound and motion and stimulation. It's the opposite of a container, it's chaos. 

But when I left the meditation center I knew this. It's been my goal, since that day, to integrate that stillness into the unlikeliest of situations- to find and cultivate an inner stillness of the portable variety so I could take it with me wherever I go. I can't say it's been easy. I lose my way over and over. But I am relentlessly committed to returning to center. Sometimes it looks like stopping for just a few breaths. A trip to the bathroom just to breath 3 conscious breaths, a mantra when I'm behind the wheel, a pause before the show, chewing my damn food all the way. I look at the stage as my meditation cushion- the place I return to each night for 45 minutes to an hour of being fully present and connected. Often, it's the place and time I'm most aware and relaxed. My practice is a lot less structured and a lot more fluid than it used to be, but I'm getting better at surfing through it all each year with a bit more grace and equanimity. At least I like to think I am wink


Funniest on-the-road story?
I know there are better ones than this, but the first one that comes to mind is the time my bandmate Brennan was woken up at 4am by a huge, angry, fully-naked man knocking on his hotel room door at 4am in a Marriott in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Brennan tried to explain that it wasn't the right room but the guy was drunk enough that it a decent amount of negotiation before the guy ran away. You just never know what you're gonna see out there.

 

Desha Peacock: Life-Stylist and Author

Posted on March 14, 2018 by Kristin Kelly


                                                           
Desha Peacock is as interesting, colorful, and creative as her name. She has the look-you-straight-in-the-eye confidence and clarity of a successful entrepreneur (which she is), complimented by that certain glow that comes from an inner peace with one's self. Basically, if you're looking for someone to guide you to realize the life you wish for, she's your gal. Author, Life-Stylist, and Working Creative, Desha Peacock posesses the perfect mix of wisdom and werewithal to lead one down that maybe-not-so-unatainable path. We can't be more excited to spend two guided hours at Ode with Desha for a Vision-boarding workshop this coming Thursday, March 22nd, from 6-8pm. Call or stop by Ode to sign up!


You are a practicer and proponent of oil therapy. What scents inspire or heal you?
I love to use citrus essential oils to lift and brighten my mood, especially during the long cold winter. I love lemon, wild orange and grapefruit. I also diffuse oils to help me stay focused while I'm doing my creative work. Lemon is also great for that.  I use frankincense when meditating because it's earthy ancient scent has been used for thousands of years to help open the heart and spirit. At night, I'll often diffuse cedar wood, ylang ylang and Balance (a doTERRA blend) to help my mind and body relax before bed. And I can't forget Jasmine. It's luscious scent is pure LOVE.


                                                          
What is a good starting point or step for realizing the life you want to live. 
The first step is you have to be open and brave enough to dream. Admitting the dream to yourself can be a very hard thing to do. Then it's all about taking inspiration actions and being persistent. 

You've been leading retreats to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for the past 4 yrs. What about that place speaks to you?
When I was in college I met a beautiful woman who told me I would love San Miguel de Allende. I remembered that. Twenty years later I quit my job, pulled my daughter out school for a month, and we went to check it out. The minute I arrived I felt it. I've been back every year since. It's my soul place. 

                                                                                           "San Miguel"  

What is your signature style?
Eclectic with a bit of cowgirl. 

What makes you dance?
My husband. He's so fun on the dance floor. 

Whose art/life/philosophy inspires you?
I'm inspired by anyone who goes for their big dream, especially when it's a creative endeavor. I think the starving artist myth is on its way out now that we have a global platform with the internet.  I am so grateful for those first women I saw online building a virtual business. It's really hard to create something that you can't envision. When I saw role models like Marie Forleo (founder of B-School) Holly Becker (Decor.8) and Justina Blakeney (social media master + designer) I knew I could do it too. 

Describe the work you do in 3 or fewer sentences. 
I'm a multi-passionate entrepreneur and the founder of Sweet Spot Style. I work with clients 1-1 to help creative lady bosses think bigger and grow their online presence. I do this through 1-1 lifeSTYLE design coaching and via my annual retreats to San Miguel de Allende. I also write home decor books and love Instagram! 
Freebie: Want to learn how Desha uses Instagram to grow her biz? Get her 10 FREE tips to Grow Your Brand on Instagram here.


                                                               
Best thing anyone has said to you?
I'm usually a pretty confident person but when I started doing lux boho retreats (and charging more), I had a moment of fear, "what if it's not good enough?" My mother said the best thing to me. She said, "Desha, just be yourself."

Last good book you've read?
Heart Spring Mountain by Robin MacArthur. It's a brilliant novel set in New England, by a supremely talented Vermont native. 

What do you look forward to?
I am driven by endless possibilities. I look forward to personal growth and insight. I look forward to complete financial freedom. I look forward to inspiring women and spreading the message that yes you can do creative work you love and get paid well for it. I look forward to my annual retreats in Mexico. I look forward to watching my daughter grow into a strong, confident, healthy, creative and amazing young lady. I look forward to dipping my feet in the ocean, face to the sun. 


                                                                       All Photos by: Tara Whitney