The Curator—Five Must-Haves for January

In January's The Curator column, Vanessa Ambrose, owner of Cameron Marks boutique, shares her five favorite things this month.

1. Japanese "Boro" Textiles. These vintage textiles are patchwork pieces of soulful beauty, hand-stitched largely out of necessity rather than any sort of plan by the maker. As indigo cotton was far too expensive in the early 1900s for Japanese peasant workers, patchwork manufacturing came into being with the tradition of passing repeatedly mended garments down through the generations. Now, they are highly collectible heirlooms. 

2. The Film, "The Women" (1939). An outstanding classic film famous for its all-female cast (not a man in sight) starring Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Joan Fontaine, and Norma Shearer to name just a few. The plot, set in Manhattan, centers on a group of gossipy high-society women who spend their days at the beauty salon, gossipping while wearing head-to-toe fabulous fashions from the glamorous era. Jam-packed with punchy, fast paced dialogue and wit, it’s not to be missed.

3. Dry Body Brushing. This has become a daily ritual that I can’t seem to live with out. It offers beneficial effects including improved circulation and, best of all, smoother and silkier skin, as it helps shed dead skin cells. It's best to dry brush before showering by using a body brush that has natural, firm bristles. For those in Santa Cruz, find locally at New Leaf. Give it a go and prime your skin so it’s silky smooth, just in time for summer.

4. Natural Body Moisturizer: Coconut Oil. After the daily ritual of dry brushing and showering, I rub coconut oil (unrefined) all over my body. It feels and smells amazing, plus it’s completely moisturizing and nourishing. I also love the fact that it’s affordable compared to a lot of conventional moisturizers and it doesn’t contain questionable chemicals and ingredients. Tip: A little goes a long way.

5. Camino Restaurant. Set in a converted, old, brick walled furniture store in Oakland is Camino Restaurant. From the delicious peasant style food to the warm, rustic interior, to the open wood fireplace, to the church pews for seating, it's well worth the visit. Camino Restaurant, 3917 Grand Ave., Oakland, (510) 547-5035.

Images: screwballcinema.blogspot, getreal4health.comiherb.comsfgate.comshelleysdavies.comcoolhunting.com.