Patterns by Rache

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Since I was a little girl, I was obsessed with pattern-making. It’s actually something my dad and I loved to do together – his analytical / builder-style mind and my creative, inventive child-like imagination. When I draw, I create elaborate graphic scribbles as scenes with dialogues, and I can visualize a transcription to a physical object.

I have had a vision for my future filled with clothing and products like Murakami, Marimekko, Rebecca Atwood, and in recent years OhJoy. Seeing something 3-dimensional made out of a 2-dimensional print is like magic.

Growing up with an uber-artist, creative-extraordinaire my mother Jan Ruby, I learned to never take something for face value. She went to Japan to learn how to make handmade paper from the Japanese masters and then figured out how to print digitally on the paper. For her opening, she took one of her paintings and had it printed onto handmade paper and then sewed it into a dress. That’s what I want to do.

There is a movement towards on-demand printed goods and I have fallen in love with this company called Society 6. Perhaps not 100% perfect in quality, but the overall ability they have to creatI started playing around with my products positioned on each item and  Here are some of my patterns on the products I have available for sale at Society 6. There is lots to browse and to purchase. And more to come where I got started. Stay tuned.

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The Making of Silence

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]This was written a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t been ready to share it. Honestly – depression was running ramped through the Brand Fam’s Casa Patziac feeling as though we had really made a tremendous mistake. What we found is that through moments such as these, we came together and united as a family… literally getting through.

Silence is creatively empowering, and while power and internet are two essential aspects of our livelihood, it stunts my creativity. I have seen over the past few weeks of in and out power and the past few months without internet, just how creative I can be. I would say I am learning to take lemons and make lemonade. Yay.

If nothing else, as Kurt says, “We have been given a huge bank of source material on the topic of power.”[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Recent Musings from Days Without Power” title_align=”separator_align_center” style=”five” element_type=”div” font_size=”16px”][vc_accordion][vc_accordion_tab title=”Learning to Live Without Power, Internet, Phones and People”][vc_column_text]

I would venture to guess that it is due time to begin considering that we actually do live on a deserted island.

This morning around 5am, there was a boom and our power went out. It had been windy for two days, and finally ceased, and then this boom and a sizzle, snap crackle and our night light goes out.

When we actually got out of bed and confirmed the power was in fact out, I called our guardian. He normally says something soothing, but this time he said he would be down in 2 minutes and pointed me in the direction of the casita. Sure enough 2 of the power lines on our property have gone down and they must have just snapped under the pressure of the last few days. Yikes.

The guys came out around 11am to check it out, and I went up to look around. It is blocking the walking path completely with two looped wires laying down, and the rest is a mess within the trees, almost like a scribble in the sky. They are planning on checking this out tomorrow morning, which means that by Monday they will have a plan, and probably by the end of the week we will have power back. I have no great expectations.

We are literally alone, here and unless we want to pack up and go, we are checking ourselves into a weekend, or a few days without power, internet, communication, etc. Awesome.

We had plans, but I felt better canceling them, knowing our food was already going to go bad and that we didn’t have much to offer them by way of music, entertainment, etc. We can just exist in space and time, which is not our usual.

And we are giving it a whirl.

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In my current statement of mind, I am like a forgotten vessel in the bottom of a 1,000 ft. deep lake. We live in the middle of nowhere, without quick access to a town / community, and for days now we have been without internet and now without power. It has given me entirely too much time to think. I wish I didn’t have so much time to think.

Here we have have few acquaintances, few true comrades, and spend most of our days alone, together. There are no evening activities or places to eat out. There are no ambulances or police sirens, or the sound of traffic from cars and trucks. Voices from those on our trail behind our house or from kayakers in front of our house are heard bright and clear. Dogs and birds are heard vibrantly with an eco within our cove. Without internet, we have a lack of information of the world, and limited connection with our family, and without power, we have endless amounts of time.

The days, weeks and now months have gone by away from home, and the time that I promised to give towards my family, work relationships and friends has now extended into 6-months, and now it will be 9-months before we return home as a family, and even that trip might get pushed.

I feel truly disconnected and I really don’t need to be. There are lots of opportunities here for friends and like-minded expats. They are fun and do fun things together. And even when we have internet, I have noticed that I still have a lack of emphasis on connection. I don’t reach out to anyone. I suppose I am becoming a little hermit-like, and it is the balance of our fast paced life in the States.

I also think it is my way of protecting myself and my time from investing in a life here until we know what we are doing in the future. It takes a year to know a place, and 4 years to really make friends, and who knows if we will be here that long. I don’t want to spend unnecessary energy, or to have others spend unnecessary energy building something that will not last. I have done long distance friendships all my life, and I am done with that chapter. I am ready to settle down somewhere, have a significant lease and really settle in.

There is belief deep within that this is a true balance to our future life. This is the time to search internally and to bring ourselves to the next level of our businesses by cultivating our crafts. It is time well-spent, not wasted, and being hermit-like is exactly what we need to do right now. There is much time for friends and activity in the future, in a place we will remain, wherever that may be. For now, being a forgotten vessel at the bottom of the lake is okay. One day I will be found, and like any other treasure chest, I will be flowing with knowledge, freedom and confidence from within.

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I am not sure I can imagine a cloudy night right now, or being more isolated than we are and not being able to see the twinkling lights from across the lake, but after being without power for now 3 days this week, it is dark. Like darker than I can imagine. There isn’t a light in sight on our property and our batteries are waning on our flashlights and our candles are burning low (can you tell there is a Hanukkah story coming?).

I guess I have never really known what this feels like and it is unique for me to be without. It is also really sacred and a new experience which has given me much; it is endless expanses of soundless moments. Soundless if of course the abstract version of visual. We see much nature, but little else. It becomes a time where your sight kicks in and you see more of what you didn’t see before in your present, internal space (wow, I becoming woo woo).

Now, my ability to love this moment has shifted and I get to see something new within myself. At the beginning of being in Guatemala and experiencing this internal visual, I was scared and full of discomfort all the way up to the brim of my being. Now I am learning to love the darkness, knowing it my shadow of opportunity and the time I have to think and to be alone.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][/vc_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][vc_text_separator title=”Patterns Created During Silence” title_align=”separator_align_center” style=”five” element_type=”div” font_size=”16px”][vcex_image_grid grid_style=”default” columns=”3″ title_type=”title” thumbnail_link=”none” lightbox_caption=”true” custom_links_target=”_self” img_width=”9999″ img_height=”9999″ image_ids=”3022,3025,3026,3027,3028,3030″][vc_empty_space height=”32px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_text_separator title=”Living with Solar – The Only Way!” title_align=”separator_align_center” style=”five” element_type=”div” font_size=”16px”][vcex_feature_box style=”left-content-right-image” content_width=”50%” media_width=”50%” heading_type=”h2″ img_width=”9999″ img_height=”9999″ image=”3042″]Really, we are never going to be caught dead without having a back up solution in an ’emerging market.’ We are fortunate that we already had a Guatemala City trip planned when things went awry… and it has taught us a good lesson. Always have a BACK UP!

Thanks to my step-sisters, we have a PowerGen which got us started. We have lived on that thing for the past few months when we travel, etc.

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A BRAND New Year: Happy 2015

Dear Family and Friends,
Another year gone by… seems hard to believe that we are already writing another New Year’s letter. Let me start with, we hope you have the most Happy Holidays this year. We are thrilled that you are apart of our life, and while we live far away, you are all close to our heart.

It has been quite the year for The Brand Fam. We have moved 6 times (2 in NYC at the start of the year and 4 times in Guatemala) and each time we have literally built a home that suits the house style, the needs of the kitchen, etc. We have gone in and out of our storage in Newburgh 10 times and even living in Guatemala we ventured back for 1 visit to get what we needed. Rache has completed two very intense work projects, and Kurt has had very little time to paint due to all our moving which has given him an expansive amount of time for thinking and preparing for execution. Iza is walking, talking and eating us out of house and home… she is a kid. We are different than we were last year this time, and it feels good to be heading in a new direction, one which is hopefully forward towards our future goals.

Looking back is pretty scary, but also enlightening. We have made so many bad choices, but have had so many learnings which have helped to shape our current goals. We are happy as a family and fulfilled in so many ways, and as most people say, “these are the best years of our lives.” We work hard, play hard and rest hard. In between we are really breathing towards the little moments and finding salvation in our love for each other.

What have we been doing?
A LOT. Everything from working on our art, to learning Spanish, to working with Rache’s clients, to building a long-term business plan, and executing on all of it. We have been working our butts off, and all mostly without power and internet. We are learning the ways and customs of life without our creature comforts, living in an emerging market. Ultimately we are in the throws of ‘finding our voice’ and trying to build something sustainable.

We Miss Everyone.
We are in a place where time stands still in someways and Groundhog Day appears regularly, and it is far away from what we know. The busyness of NYC, the solitude of Ormond, the snow and toasty fires in Cincinnati, the salty sun-rays of Maryland,  the conversations from Vermont / NoHo, the laughter in Lancaster, and the clever shops of Berkeley. We are here: our home in Guatemala. It has been a beautiful adventure, and one that we needed to reignite our zest for life and recharge our batteries (odd phrase since having no power has literally offered enough sleep to truly recharge), and one that we will force ourselves to continue until our lease ends. That’s right folks, a 1-year lease. Somehow we can commit to a child, but committing to a lease is very difficult. 🙂

Our Goals are BIG
This coming year we plan to hunker down and not go anywhere; focus on our passion projects and make things happen for ourselves. Kurt’s studio projects and Rache’s patterns are two very tangible directions… but there is a lot more about to happen. We will share parts and pieces throughout the year, but we hope you are there with us in spirit and rooting us on, regardless.







We wish you all a Happy and positive start to your New Year. We see this as a fresh start for us and we hope our passion has reignited you too.

Love, blessings and a million hugs and kisses. 



Kurtis, Rache & Iza