845-252-6650 debra@debracortese.com

Celebrating birthdays!

pictures from my garden - Emerging Ginger Blooms by Debra Cortese 2011


Today’s my birthday and usually it’s just another day, but this year, I’m happier,
healthier and more focused than ever. I started my day singing in the shower
and thinking of my Mom and how, many (many) years ago she was giving birth
to her first child and of course that set off a bunch of favorite childhood memories.
And that made me smile and reminded me of something that I’d most like to share.

pictures from my garden - Golden Garden Fox by Debra Cortese 2011

I’ve learned that my attitude is everything. I can choose how I feel at any moment
and when I choose to see the positive aspect of ANY situation, person, place… my
overall experience is more balanced. There is always something that I can do that
makes me feel better 🙂 and most importantly… I’m the only one that chooses
how I react so, today I chose to be empowered and happy!
And today, I’m wishing everyone a better feeling day no matter what issues and
challenges you may have. At the very least, pet your cat (or dog), listen to/sing
your favorite song, WOW…Just as I wrote this, my daughter gifted me with
two Fleet Foxes albums! Listening now …

pictures from my neighborhood - Neighborhood Blues by Debra Cortese 2011

If you know me at all, the photos on this post are just a small part of
how I find balance and joy – right outside my door!


Coconut Grove Welcomes “Nassau Daddy” Peacock

Artist Rosie Brown with her "Nassau Daddy" peacock at unveiling in Coconut Grove's Village West

Very happy I attended ‘Nassau Daddy’s’ unveiling this morning in Coconut Grove! It was so much more than a display of Peacock Art. There was a tangible sense of community, of history and cultural collaboration. Village West certainly knows how to appreciate, and honor, all of the collaborative energy that went into creating this particularly iconic work of art! Welcome to Coconut Grove “Nassau Daddy” Peacock, and congratulations to artist Rosie Brown; Coconut Grove Peacock Tour creator, Heather Bettner; Coconut Grove Collaborative and Pinnacle Housing Group – sponsors of Nassau Daddy.

more photos:

coloful Junkanoo musicians and dancers celebrating Nassau Daddy peacock

fabulous Junkanoo fashions!

Phil Brown, husband of artist, Rosie Brown and number 1 videographer for many Grove art events!

For more info see today’s Coconut Grove Grapevine article and more photos and check out the Coconut Grove Peacock Tour website.

If you stop to see Nassau Daddy, be sure to check out “The Cookie Lady” right across the street at 3701 Grand Avenue, Coconut Grove, FL 33133. Homemade cookies, cakes and more for very afforadable prices and delightful treats 🙂

NEW Custom Design for Child’s Voice annual fundraising event

custom Cortese Design bag for Child's Voice

Jadevine Hearts Pattern custom design by Debra Cortese for Child's Voice annual fundraising event

click image for detail view

To inquire about a custom design for your business, organization or event, contact me at: debra@cortesedesignbags.com
or call 305-298-2023. I’m most interested in working with projects that benefit our environment, children and animals 😉

To see my current line of handbags visit: www.cortesedesignbags.com

Honeysuckle Pink on Cortese Design Travel Tote Bags

Healing Pink Mussaenda, leather trimmed, Classic Travel Tote Bag
is rich with hues of Honeysuckle Pink and
shares the energy of compassion, sensuous joy and radiant health!

A Nature’s Energy – Cortese Design Bag

I’m more than happy to share that two of the custom bag designs that I created for ‘The Susan G. Komen for The Cure’ event “Pink Hits the Runway” are rich with the uplifting hues and tones of Pantone’s fashion and decor color of the year for 2011: Honeysuckle Pink!

Pink Rose Pattern, leather trimmed, Classic Travel Tote Bag
is rich with hues of Honeysuckle Pink and
shares the energy of love . self-worth . grattitude.
A Nature’s Energy – Cortese Design Bag

Spinning the Color Wheel

Here’s a great article by Charlyne Varknyi Schaub on the front page of the Home and Design section in the Miami Herald!

Her opening paragraph, “South Florida has never been a place where people are afraid of color or fearful of trying something new.”, attests to the trend-setting, color-loving atmosphere that I fell in love with here in South Florida… and the place where I became entranced with a tropical color palette and a passion to share the magic and power of what I experience from nature!


features the Healing Pink Mussaenda design that is rich with the hues and tones of Honeysuckle Pink!

This “Healing Badge of Courage” is an exclusive, limited edition, soft sculpture featuring my Healing Pink Mussaenda design and hand-beading by Macarena Zilveti, founder of the Badges of Courage Foundation which provides financial assistance to people affected by breast cancer. My Blog post about this project has more information on the badges and the Foundation.

Healthy Eating in Miami

This post started as a comment to an article in this morning’s Miami Herald titled, “Buying clubs of fresh produce gaining popularity” but since it is something I’m becoming more and more passionate about, decided to post on my blog as well.

I highly recommend the documentary film, “FRESH” to anyone interested in learning more about the viability and advantages of producing and consuming organically grown foods. Video clip below from “FRESH”

FRESH is a documentary featuring Michael Pollan, Will Allen and Joel Salatin which celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system.

Most of the fruits, veggies and meats available from our supermarkets are likely causing health problems because of the massive amounts of antibiotics, pesticides and processing that are required to mass-produce these foods.

Organically produced foods, those grown in nature on free-range farms (without pesticides, hormones or antibiotics) provide the most humane, vitamin, protein, and mineral rich foods possible.

Organic farming, Honoring the divine design of nature.
Instead of destroying the quality of the soil by constantly poisoning it with pesticides and fertilizers loaded with antibiotics, and diminishing the nutrients with continuous plantings, the gardens and fields are nourished and allowed to rest in natural cycles. Crops and livestock are regularly moved from field to field and a balance in nature is maintained.

There are many organic farms and producers in our South Florida region and I hope, many more to come. I’d like to compile a respectable list of resources and would greatly appreciate any farms, producers, providers, markets, etc. that you know of. Please let me know of others to add to this list:

Urban Oasis Project
Guara Ki Eco Farm
Bee Heaven Farm article
Redland Organics
Organic Produce Buying Club of South Florida
Annie’s Organic Buying Club
Glaser Organic Farms
Organic Farms & Growers of Miami-Dade & Broward Counties
Paradise Farms
Eat Wild
Miami Vegetarian Guide
Urban Homestead Resource
Bees ‘N the Keys
Earth Learning
South Miami Farmers Market
Doral Farmers Market
Coconut Grove Farmers Market
Farmers Markets List on Yelp
The Market Company

If you haven’t already seen it, check out FRESH a documentary film by ana Sofia joanes. It will confirm beliefs that current large food production systems are not providing healthy foods. It also provides an excellent model of sustainable, organic and economically viable farming and food production – not surprisingly based on the brilliant natural models of nature.

PS: I’m currently the caretaker for my own small, backyard veggie and herb garden. An annual undertaking that brings me balance and nourishment. Ahhhh…. dirt therapy at its best!

Women’s Chamber at Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables

Nicole Waters, Business Development Manager at Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables and Charlee Homes for Children spokesperson listen as Janice Gonzalez, President of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade addresses a large gathering of Chamber members and friends during the Chamber’s Holiday Event at the Mercedes-Benz showroom in Coral Gables, Florida. photo: D. Cortese

Think I’ll let the photos (by my friend, Betty Alvarez and a couple from my iPhone) tell the story of what a fabulous event the Women’s Chamber of Commerce presented at Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables earlier this week. Kudos to all of the Chamber Members for extending invitations throughout the business community and especially for supporting Charlee Homes for Children.

The networking was excellent, the cars absolutely lust-worthy… and the delicious, bountiful food was catered by Sarah Sharpe Catering.

Macarena Zilveti, Badges of Courage Foundation & Sandy Edie, Design Consultant
check out my newest wish list item 😉 photo: D. Cortese

Sandy Edie, Design Consultant, Debra Cortese (me) and Enrique Yunis owner of
Coral Gables’ Cartridge World strike a pose during the Women’s Chamber of
Commerce of Miami Dade Holiday Event at Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables
on December 14, 2010. photo: Betty Alvarez

As you can see I was not a bit shy about trying out this stunning and sporty,
Mercedes-Benz convertible 😉 My wish list gets longer every day! photo: Betty Alvarez

Happy Holidays!!!


PS: What’s on YOUR Wish List this year?

Getting Into The Vortex Guided Meditations CD & Book available today!

NOTE: I pre-ordered my copy already and if you need a bit more info to decide if this is for you, read below or just click on the book to order from Amazon*:

Order Your Copy Today! click image

From the Introduction by Abraham:

Getting Into the Vortex contains four powerfully guided daily meditations that have been designed to get you into the Vortex of Creation in four basic areas of your life: General Well-Being, Financial Well-Being, Physical Well-Being, and Relationships.

Esther and Jerry Hicks

Jerry and Esther are thrilled to offer this powerful, first-of-its-kind, musically scored, breath-enhancing, user-friendly tool from Abraham that will get you into the Vortex where you will rendezvous with everything that you desire. And, as Abraham often says, “We are not kidding you, not even a little bit.”

As you relax and breathe deeply, you can feel the appreciation that Source feels for you in this moment in time?appreciation for your physical world, for its diversity, and for the stream of never-ending desires that flow forth from you.

The Non-Physical Source from which you have come is always aware of you, always enjoying you, always loving you, and always feeling appreciation for the important role you are playing in the expansion of All-That-Is. Your lack of awareness of the Source within you in no way hinders the ability of Source to be aware of you.

Since your Non-Physical Source Energy is always aware of you, always f lowing to you, any disruption in that communication is always caused by you because of whatever you are focused upon in that moment in time. But, day by day, as you give your attention to the rhythm of the guiding music, to the cadence of your breathing, to the feeling of these words?any long-held patterns of resistance will dissipate.

Since resistance that has been introduced by your thoughts is the only thing that hinders the conscious blending between you and your Inner Being, as that resistance gradually dissipates, your conscious awareness of your relationship with Source will come forward into your awareness.

When you feel love or appreciation or passion or joy, those feelings are not only your indication that you are blended with the Source within you, but they are also indicators of how Source is also feeling. Because of the perspective of love that Source always chooses to hold, there is always a guiding Vibrational signal for you to tune yourself to.

A simple withdrawal of your attention from resistant thoughts is the only path to your alignment with the pure, positive Energy that is at your core. And so, just relax and breathe deeply, and allow your natural alignment.

* I only recommend products and services that I personally use and believe in. I have an affiliate account with Amazon and I may earn a commission on products that you purchase from following my link. This is another way an artist/entrepreneur is able to earn money and continue doing the kinds of work I love.

Artists Unite For Breast Cancer Awareness

Macarena Zilveti, a graphic artist, and founder of Badges of Courage Foundation and I have co-created the “Healing Pinks Badge”, an exclusive and limited edition design for the “Badges of Courage Foundation”. Each hand-sewn ‘Healing Pink Badge’ is adorned with delicate beads that outline and magnify the vibrational lines of the healing energy of the sensuous, pink mussaenda leaves which are the basis for this custom design.

Our limited edition, “Healing Pink Badge” will debut during the 2010 Fashion Designer’s Expo, “PINK Hits The Runway” on Thursday the 21st and Friday, the 22nd of October at the Newport Beachside Resort in Sunny Isles, Florida. The show begins each night at 8 pm and my new, Healing Pink Classic Tote Bags will also debut on Friday night when The Teen Board presents “PINK Hits the Runway”!

All “Badges of Courage” are mini, palm-sized pillows designed to resemble the female breast. Each one is created with loving care and includes an inspirational message on the back.

Badges of Courage Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded by Macarena Zilveti to pay tribute to her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother, all breast cancer survivors. The foundation raises funds to provide financial assistance for cancer patients.

The fabric design for the “Healing Pink Badge” is a pattern I created that is based on photos I took of the “Queen Sirikit”, a mussaenda that grows in a friend’s garden in Miami, Florida.
This plant emanates with the beauty and energy of nature’s sensuous pink tones. I specifically chose this design because of the powerful, joyful and compassionate vibrations that I sensed while taking the original photos. All Cortese Designs are created with a conscious intention to share the positive vibrations of nature’s energy.

Purchase tickets for Fashion Designers Expo Florida now!


For more information about TICKETS please contact Gisselle Glaser
Couture Soiree, Inc. | info@couturesoireeinc.com | (954) 533-4318

Complimentary entry for STANDING ROOM ONLY “with a donation at the door”
by RSVP only to fdersvp@live.com