I need to keep this one short. It's late. Thirty images taken at last week's Bouquet to Arts exhibit at the de Young should be sufficient, and although I'd love to share my thoughts and what I learned about it all, I'm pretty sure no one actually cares. So I'm going to pass, and take the sleep instead. But here are shots of my most favorite bouquets, taken while celebrating my girlfriend's 40th birthday with a day in the city.
I'm operating without my favorite appendage this week. My computer is in the shop and won't be reattached for a couple days. So while we've been keeping busy trying to use up all the Meyer lemons that the five year old picked from our tree and filled her wheelbarrow with, I'll focus on something equally exciting - our next getaway.
I've been planning a road trip for us. We will be headed down south for no real reason other than we have the time off so why not?
We decided to head towards Palm Springs, a destination that none of us have ever been to.
Our first stop will be in Santa Barbara where I discovered El Capitan Canyon via Ciao Bambino, an incredible site for exploring how and where to travel with kids. I booked us in one of their cedar cabins, although I would have loved one of their safari tents, had one still been available.
Discovering and booking El Capitan really set the tone for the rest of the trip. I now had my heart set on the unexpected. I wanted a unique, adventure infused with kitschy roadside stops and lots of greasy diner food.
Which brings me to our second stop, The Farmer's Daughter Hotel, in the heart of L.A. Because, really - with a name like that, why would I put my family anywhere else?
Our original plans of hitting Palm Springs on day three were delayed a day when I went in search of the wild side by googling "PALM+SPRINGS+TRAILER+MOTEL".
I had no idea what would pop up, but I had my fingers crossed for some sort of Airstream trailer park where we could live out one of my our greatest fantasies of traveling in a silver bullet.
Instead, I found this.
(Cue the crickets)
And without a moment of hesitation, I had us signed up for a night in The New World. I can't wait to eat dinner here and to photograph our kids on the front steps of our trashed trailer, eating Twinkies for breakfast, their sweet faces kissed by the morning sun as it rises up over Joshua Tree. I hope to also take in some arts and culture, either here, here or here.
OK, everyone back in the car, time to head into Palm Springs.
I'm most excited about this leg of the trip. As I researched where to stay and what to do, I kept feeling like I was looking into some sort of fantastical alternative lifestyle designed specifically for me. When I die and go to (my) heaven, it's going to look like Palm Springs.
In my mind, VRBO.com is really the only way to go when traveling with kids, and in this desert paradise, the nightly rental prices are very reasonable. I would be happy staying in any one of these three places. While there, I want to do so many things, like take the kids to this park, or to ride on this thing. I must spend an afternoon with just Daddy here, followed by dinner here. Needless to say, visiting Trina is a must, as well as all the surrounding mid-century home furnishings stores. Just for a look...
Last, but certainly not least, the long drive home... which we will break-up with a night at this funky spot. I'm thinking either the Caveman for the boys or maybe Floral Fantasy for the girls. (Just for the record, we've actually already stayed in Old Mill and it was awesome, especially when we flipped the switch and all the waterfalls and mechanical people started moving around the room.)
I had so much fun throwing this last minute trip together. It was a great reminder that there is so much great stuff in all our backyards, you just need to do a little research and the payoff can be huge!
Whenever I travel internationally, I always have to do a little shopping. For me, it's never been about acquiring, but about discovery, and bringing the taste of a foreign culture back home to always remember a trip by. I love beautiful things and I am happy finding them in the appliance section of a Japanese department store, the seconds room of an Italian manufacturing plant, or off a Mexican cart. There is beauty at every turn.
When my reaction to an object is visceral, I know it's one that needs to come home. Like that funny, winged cupid at top center. I have no intelligent explanation for my feelings, but my heart started to race when I spotted him, and I couldn't stop smiling. The woman photographed here painted all her pieces right there on the street. I wonder what her whole story is, and I wish I could have communicated how much I loved her work beyond just a smile and a "Gracias".
Last night I hosted another one of Kate's cookie classes for all my girls who could not make the first class in December. The theme was Valentine's, and the students were a great mixture of neighbors and friends.
Here are some pictures I took of Kate's art - cookies decorated the night before so that *students* could have a little inspiration. If it's not obvious from these shots, let me tell you: they were flawless! (I say *were* only because Kate and I ate them all while cleaning up the kitchen.)
Here Kate shows us the proper *technique*. Oh the jokes that followed... ;)
I'll leave you with this shot below - one Kate forwarded me from her phone, of some recent work she'd done. (OK fine, I grabbed her phone and forwarded it to myself.) Who knew I needed a pear-shaped cookie cutter? And a lemon one to go with it? Well now I know. Thanks again, Kate! xoxo
If you live in the Bay Area, and would like to throw a cookie decorating party with Kate as your instructor, it's such a great way to get a group together, morning, afternoon or night. She charges $45/head and pretty much does it all! You leave with some great, new knowledge and a box of your cookie art. For more info, you can contact her at kateplaskon(at)gmail.com or at 415.225.7516
We finally made it to Golden Gate Park to see Playland at the Conservatory: A Garden Railway Celebrating San Francisco's West End. Yeah!!
I had been intrigued since last November when I started seeing these signs around the city:
This week's trip to Portland was my first, but certainly not my last. I'm hooked, I'm in love, I'm willing to consider moving, I'm going to start watching that show Portlandia.
I took lots of pictures while I was there of the food I ate.. the stores I browsed... the gorgeous, illuminated cityscape at nighttime, and the food truck clusters on every. other. corner. Here are some theatrical posters that hung in the window of Portland's Center Stage Theater. I loved them all! The first four images hang currently, and the last one, "Love, Janis" is from several years ago. (I actually saw that production when if came to SF and it was wonderful!!)
On my way into the Petaluma Seed Bank the other day, I was stopped in my tracks while looking into the window of Chelsea Antiques. I have a real soft spot for 20th century Americana and this place has a lot of it. Here's a snippet of what I saw:
21 metal basket bookshelf, $780
I love everything here a little bit, but I love those two wire baskets with handles A LOT! $40/each.
I'm not quite sure what these adorable panels were used for, possibly scenery for a child's play?
This sculptural polar bear bookshelf really caught my eye! It's by the French company ibride and was on sale for $2400, marked down from $3400. Wow! I did some research on it when I got home and discovered it's just a few years old, released in 2009. I also found it new for $1800, if you're interested. ;)
I heart antique produce scales. Would love one in my kitchen!
Donkey and metal arrow sign.
Vintage carnival signs.
Zinc bottle carrier from France.
Not the best picture but I loved this rusted out old automobile grill. Sometimes the strangest things can make really striking and affordable wall art.
148 Petaluma Blvd N.,
Last night, on a whim, I purchased tickets for myself and Little Miss to see the second-to-last performance of the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker.
It was absolutely SPECTACULAR!!!
If you haven't gone yet, you must go next year. In the mean time, go to the website here and watch a short video preview that will leave you in a dream state.
This day last year: "The Spirit of Papa"
We are so lucky to have several extraordinary houses near us that go all out on the Christmas decorations for everyone to enjoy.
Above is Nisja's Bear House, located at 383 Quietwood Drive in San Rafael. The entire yard is decorated with lights and moving figurines that all compete for your attention while a train zooms here and there. Just around the corner...
...is our favorite - Linda's Snow Village - which less about a decorated house and more about a big glass box in a woman's driveway, housing a miniature electrical town. Located at 563 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael.
I recently hosted a cookie decorating class, instructed by my friend Kate, and opened it up to all my friends with early morning availability.
Kate baked cookies for nine, and brought all the necessary elements for decoration. For 2-1/2 hours she instructed on how to make piping and flood, how to correctly prep all your tools and lastly, how to decorate gorgeous holiday cookies. (I, of course, couldn't help but throw in lunch - Ina's Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette... of course. ;)
"Welcome to London!!" bellows the hearty woman after taking our tickets and ushering us in. We had finally arrived at our destination - Dickens' mid-19th century London.
And just like that, the magic began! Our early morning preparations of recounting the story of Scrooge and the good lessons learned, of discussing the evolution of the English language with our small kids (read: "People used to talk funny!"), of contemplating top hats and hoop-dresses, and the pin-pointing on London on a map - had all been for this moment. And as we enter the Cow Palace, all aglow with soft lighting and the hustle-n-bustle of a Victorian era London street scene, we are truly transported back in time, to a place best traveled with the eyes and hearts of small children.
Our first stop - Mr. Fezziwigs, to watch a dance routine while snacking on warm, sugar-cinnamon toasted almonds, served up in a paper cone.
For over 30 years I have carried the most wonderful memories of attending the Dickens Fair as a child. I remember the dark, damp air of a covered pier at Fort Mason, it's original location. I remember eating a giant, frosted sugar cookie that tasted like the finest Christmas dessert and strolling the streets among lively actors in costume, and performers on stilts. I have visions of fog lying low to the ground - a memory I'm not certain is even accurate. Were there really fog machines? Or has time allowed sweet memories to grow even sweeter? There were no fog machines during yesterday's visit, but I was far from disappointed. For three and a half hours I had a smile ear-to-ear, regretting only one thing - that I had not shown up in costume myself.
Not that popcorn is any barometer for fine food, but I was impressed with the quality of everything we ate. Bangers and mash with peas were "just like home", and the chocolate covered shortbread cookies were just like, well, just like that awesome bakery in SF!
We played games, games, games - darts being the least creative of all of them. You could also try your hand at throwing a boot towards wooden cats outside your bedroom window, or whack a hammer on a board that would catapult a stuffed chimney sweeper into a chimney. If only my knowledge of low-light photography was a bit more advanced I could share all this. But I still have a lot to learn, which is evidenced in a whole lot of blurry and deleted photos from our day.
My favorite moments were spent watching the kids go around on a six-seater carousal of stuffed African animals while a bearded man in colonial safari wear serenaded everyone with vintage tribal instruments.
We sat in on great juggling, fencing, musical and theatrical performances.
Even Father Christmas was there, which thrilled our Tiny Tim!
We finished our day with an elaborate craft project, decorating a fairy house in hopes of inviting a little magic into our garden. You've just got to believe!
For more information visit: www.dickensfair.com
I've been helping a couple friends with some interior design projects and pulled this Makelike 'Lush' wallpaper for one of their entryways.
I thought it would just be incredible on all four walls, enveloping one into a cozy dream-like state before moving them towards a calmer, more subdude living area.
It didn't end up making the final cut for said entryway...but somehow, it ended up making it's way into our guest bath.
For me, it was a haunting pattern. I just couldn't get it out of my mind. I found relief when I held a sample of it up in the guest bathroom - I just knew it would be a great addition.
But I delayed in pulling the trigger, and I'm glad I did because several days later, I found it offered on a sample sale site for 50% off. Into cart. Checkout, please!
This day last year: "What I Saw At SFMOMA"
I have been wanting a chalkboard in the kitchen area for some time. I'm sad to say that I lose track of food all the time, and have wanted a place where I could make *food notes* to myself and my family. Something like "Tuna salad with celery and olives" would be code for "celery is on it's way out and you better sneak those home-brined olives into some dish if you want anyone to actually eat them".
What I originally envisioned was a rectangular chalkboard with either a distressed frame made of reclaimed barn panels (a girl can dream!) or some totally over-the-top Rococoesque frame to off-set the *agrarian chic* look I strive for around our dining area. But then I discovered Wall Candy Art's chalkboard decals and this beauty seemed to do the job for a lot less hassle and money.
I just set it up and my first post is our Thanksgiving 2011 menu. I will be looking at it all week while working on my om's and breathing exercises. I like that the kids have it as a sweet reminder of our holiday to come.
This day last year: "Persimmon Pops on a HOT November Day!"
You may or may not remember that I suffer from a condition called OCDD. (For more information click here.)
I've had what you might call a *flare-up* in recent weeks. The impending holidays always throw me over the edge and I've been running around like a *chicken-with-its-head-cut-off*, nesting, so that I we can roost comfortably, all winter long.
Nothing gets me checking off boxes or nesting more quickly than the promise of dinner quests, or a newborn child. (Am not pregnant.) I may curse them in the hours before their ultimate arrival, but I relish every anxious moment of preparation leading up to said moment.
Meet Dian. She hangs wallpaper! And she does it very, very well. Yesterday she came over to help me with wallpaper project #4 and 5.
This is wallpaper project #4: "Jazz In Central Park" by UK designer Lizzie Allen. It took me a long time to choose exactly which design of hers I wanted to hang. Because I studied design in London, while in college, the city nearest and dearest to Lizzie's heart, is close to mine as well. In the end, NYC won and I don't have any regrets.
Happy, happy wallpaper!
Lord help me should the two-year old take a crayon to this wall like his sister did a Sharpie to the kitchen cabinets.
I am a huge fan of Alexander Girard's art. We have his floor tiles in the kid's area, a friend gave me his beautiful alphabet blocks which sit on display in the living room, I covet his Madonna bike and recently released nativity scene.
So I was over the moon when I received an email from MAXIMO Design about the sale of his only-sold-in-Japan suitcases, a collaboration between his estate and the company Effy. How did they know I was in need of carry-on suitcase?!
Here is Milly standing guard over my new suitcase in what has always been my favorite Girard print - *Fruit Tree*. (Our recently planted persimmon tree stands in the background.)
Now if I could just take a vacation...
When I was at IKEA last week, in search of a an affordable train table, I came across a giant stack of these beautiful melamine trays. They are very Charlie Harper, don't you think? At just $6.99, I picked up two, one for the kids to use in their coming-soon-art-and-craft-room, and one for me, to add to my growing melamine tray collection.
After the Picasso exhibit on Friday, we walked next door to the Japanese Tea Garden for lunch. It had been a long, long time since our last visit. Here we are in 2007:
...and here we are in 2011:
When it comes to ethnic foods, I really don't care how much fat or sugar is in any one dish. As long as my kids are willing to eat something that looks TOTALLY different than what we eat every other day of the week, I'm happy. Some of my proudest parenting moments have come while watching my kids nosh down things like fried fish butts or raw, dark greens. (pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat...)
These noodles were not even that great. They had a heavy, fishy taste to them that I personally did not care for. But he slurped them down and so I said, "Good call, Sweetie."
If you haven't seen the Ramune soda from Japan, you are missing out! Our cousins taught us all about them recently while we dined on sushi together. They are a carbonated soft drink that the kids love due to their unique packaging. To *activate* your drink, you must puncture the top of your glass bottle in order to release a glass marble down into the soda which then activates the carbonation. So gimmicky, so clever, so completely irresistible!
Go ahead, take a big, teethy bite out of that green tea mochi!
After lunch, and a bit of running around the gardens, we crossed the street and visited another set of gardens - the botanical ones.
Silly little Miss under one of my favorites - Angel's Trumpet.
Happy, happy day!
The little man had Thursday and Friday off school. So I pulled his sister out of pre-school, and treated them to a special day in the city. First stop, the Picasso exhibit and the de Young.
I feel very fortunate to live so close to San Francisco, and all the culture it has to offer. I try to expose my kids to as much as I can (within reason). I rarely invest in things like audio headsets (too much work, sensory overload for little brains) but instead, spend a little in the gift shop, treating the kids to something they can take home and remember their experience by, like a book, or in Picasso's case, a postcard to hang in their rooms.
These sorts of exhibits can be tricky. The kids may think they want to go, but upon arrival into this exhibit, everything appeared to be turning South, rapidly. My quick save went like this: "If I hear anymore fussing before we are out of here, we will not be visiting the Japanese Tea Garden as requested. K? All right, now everyone pick your favorite picture in this room and tell my why you like it the best!" And from there, our time at Picasso became a series of games - "I see a chicken! Who can find a chicken in this room?" "Try to find a picture that you think would be easiest to recreate and home and tell me how you'd do it." "Show me an example of one of Picasso's abstracts and tell me if you can figure out what any of the shapes represent."
But the best lesson of the day came with the story of Picasso himself, and how he chose a path different from everyone else, how he was told his contributions were worthless and how he persevered regardless of what people said. "Because everyone is different and unique and every one of us has something wonderful to contribute to this world. Got that?!?"
The kids ended up having fun (I'm pretty sure) and I'm certain they learned a itsy-bitsy-tiny-wini bit about Pablo Picasso and what it means to just be proud of the person you were born to be. After that, it was off to the Japanese Tea Garden for lunch!
I had a post all ready to go for this morning, letting you know that I was out...that I was at Target for the Missoni *drop*...that I wanted everyone out of my way - "hey, hands off, Lady! That zig-zag picture frame is mine!"
But then something amazing happened. I had a really bad dream... that lead to something really good!
I dreamt that I *skipped school* to do my shopping online but that the Target website had sold out.
And then I woke up. It was 3:45am and I remembered the online promise of Target: "We'll be up bright and early!"
I thought: In order for them to fulfill their promise, they must mean, bright and early East Coast time, right?
And so I tippy-toed downstairs and got online. Missoni for Target, bright and early. :D
I came, I shopped, I knocked it out of frickin' park with a new 28" zig zag bike.
As I type, it's 5:47am. Ebay is filled with overpriced Missoni for Target products, and target.com is down, experiencing technical difficulties.
Something tells me I was just part of something very big in the design world.
But the best part is, I don't have to take two hours out of my day to drive to the nearest store. My shopping is all done. My zig-zag velour running suit is on it's way and I'm just sipping coffee, catching-up on *stuff* wondering why I don't wake up at 4am more often. You certainly can get a crap-load done when you don't have kids to tend to.
Here are some other beautiful items from the collection to get you started this morning:
Right on Dry Creek Road, conveniently located between Big John’s Market and The Dry Creek General Store, is a wonderful gardening store where you can find some really unique items for outdoor living areas.
The Gardener, reveals little about itself from the road, except for its very creative and inviting signage which backs up against a large hedge.
Nestled down at the bottom of a small, slopped driveway is a treasure trove of colorful ceramic pots and wind chimes, artsy hand-build tomato cages and sculptural art, couture homesteaders furniture, and lots of ideas to steal for one’s own garden.
Here are my favorites:
An interior shot of the store showcasing this beautiful pendant lamp - one of the many products they sell that re-purposes wine barrel materials.
The baby toddler attaches himself to aluminum baskets that would be great as a laundry hamper, toy bucket or towel holder.
Here is a great design that I think I'm going to have to steal for my own garden - tall raised beds. My aching back is already feeling better! And some simple, rusty rods, secured in a grid with wire, offer a great place for vines travel up.
I just loved this over-sized, sturdy picnic table. It might not seem like much, but when I've looked online for a picnic table for our own yard, I've never found anything this solid looking. I fell in love with the yellow pot too!
Beautiful water feature.
Love, love, love this chair. It is so unique, colorful and comfortable. Unfortunately, it isn't cheap so I hugged it goodbye. ($425)
This canopy was so cool. It's a product they use to carry but do not anymore. Unlike anything I've ever seen offered for the garden at Bed, Bath and Beyond. ;)
I fell for these and bought three. They are tomato cages made of old wine barrels ($45/each)!! What's best about them is that they serve as sculptural art in your yard when tomatoes are out of season. Apparently a local man use to make them but no longer does. They have one left - grab it while you can!
More sculptural art from wine barrels.
Potted succulents serve as art!
A colorful lounge chair.
Lately, I've been hyper-aware of the architectural, landscape, interior and graphic details of modern homesteading design, on account of the Colorado project I've been apart of. The project is taking a 25 year old apartment building, with little architectural interest, and bringing it up to date on a very, very tight budget. We are going for a *modern mountain* vibe, and this little vacation in the wine country has supplied lots of inspiration. Today, I'm focused on ART.
The always fun restaurant Barn Diva, and it's art gallery next door, Studio Barn Diva, are a feast for the homesteaders eyes. I've found myself drawn to a lot of metal artwork this week...the *Studio* was full of it!
Here is a wonderful piece of metal artwork that I first noticed two years ago while taking dinner at Barn Diva with friends. It's a life-sized sculpture of a farmer, formed out of one continuous piece of wire. His wife (not shown) stands on a parallel wall above a row of tables. What's most exciting about this piece is how it casts shadows on the underlying wall, based on how light is cast on it. Look at the image above. First notice the sculpture, then look at how different the shadow's image is. The sculpture is of a straight-faced farmer, the shadow is of a man forlorn. It's creator, Seth Minor, has many more smaller pieces in the gallery next door.
Another artist at the *Barn*, Ismael Sanchez, does similar work but with many cut pieces of wire. The impact of his life size figures and animals packs a powerful punch. I, of course, fell in love with his chicken.
Everyday, we pass this adorable group of goats playing poker and enjoying wine. One goat stands at the roadside taking a picture of the tourists driving by. At night time, it's illuminated for a completely different effect.
We had the rare opportunity to break away this afternoon and do a long bike ride through the Dry Creek Valley, just the two of us. So I gathered together all my protective clothing, most importantly, my neon flowered flip-flops, and set out on a 20 mile *peddle* through the countryside.
Daddy didn't want me to get run over by a tractor and insisted I wear a helmet. Fair enough, but I always insist on wearing a brimmed hat. The outcome looked like this:
Not sexy. And yet I swear it took everything out of the man not to dry hump my leg all day. ;-)
The temperature was an ideal 84 degrees and so we peddled and chatted, chatted and peddled until we reached Healdsburg in time for lunch.
We had hoped to try the new SpoonBar at the h2 Hotel, but were disappointed to learn it was closed for lunch on Tuesdays. So we made reservations for dinner instead, and walked around oh-ing and aw-ing all the great landscape, architectural and interior details.
Just outside the restaurant's entrance was this incredible work of art paying homage to, what else, the spoon. The sound of water drizzling down a wall balancing hundreds of teetering spoons was just so sweet and calming.
Inside the lobby, I had a seat on a multi-patterned Missoni couch (when are they not?!), and looked beyond some highly lacquered coffee tables of reclaimed wood to a stunning piece of art by Stephen Galloway. It all tied in very well with my flip-flops, don't you think?
On the way home, I took this picture:
I just love the sight of an endless field of agriculture, interrupted only by a barn's corrugated metal roof.
Our car is stuffed full with kids and zucchini bread, and we are headed out to the Yosemite Valley for a weekend under the stars.
I do not fear car trips any longer, not since XM Radio came into my life and we discovered Kids Place Live. With the volume turned up, my kids sit like *well behaved children*, quietly listening to songs and stories written only for them. It's a road-trip game changer. So I thought I'd share with you one of my new favorite songs. This is one of the sweetest love songs I've ever heard and I've been humming it all day as I pack-up our little family of five and daydream about a weekend of camping, as well as all the magic that unfolded in the yard this week: purple figs, giant dahlias and curly cucumbers. While I am not blind to the fact that the man singing does, in fact, play a ukulele and sing lead in a kiddie band, I can almost forgive him when his sweet and raspy voice starts singing for me to come away with him...on his cucumber canoe...
Have a great weekend!
Back in May, I posted about the Marin Open Studios and my afternoon walking through the Sausalito building. I was so excited to learn of Kim Ford Kitz and all her bold, large scale art. I absolutely fell in love with her Chinatown, and eventually went back to purchase it for our living room.
This giant wall in our living room had sat empty for years while we waited for the perfect piece to present itself. Thankfully we didn't find anything before because our living room has evolved over the years. Today it's dividing into two seating areas and our new orange couch just screams for a match. I think Chinatown is just that.
Here is some more of Kim's wonderful work:
My sister and I were recently walking and talking about the California lifestyle, epitomized in the pages of Sunset magazine.
"I loooove that magazine," she said, stopping and turning to me. "It's my therapy." Her eyes were moist.
Sunset magazine is like that. It evokes dreamy imagery of a colorful lifestyle so approachable and inviting, that each edition delivered triggers excitement comparable only to that of an old friend coming to dinner, and the anticipation of the food and conversation to come. So often, magazines only provide us with glimpses into worlds too intimidating: the praise of wines I could never fully appreciate, the fashion I have no place to wear, the showcasing of homes I could never afford. And so those magazines typically get passed on or recycled. But never a Sunset. Each heavily, dog-eared copy is carefully cataloged away on a shelf, ready for repeat referencing.
Now my eyes are getting moist. Let's get on to Sunset's Celebration Weekend and the highlights I loved most.
I wish, wish, wish I had taken an image of how this wall was constructed, or better yet, who constructed it. But I failed miserably when I did not. Regardless, this wall of succulents was breathtaking!
Bauer had a great presence, right at the opening of the show, and we couldn't help but be mesmerized by their Garden Orbs in varying sizes and colors. (Note to self: Buy a lot of these for the garden. A lot.)
More succulents! We saw a couple versions of this table, which I loved. One more visual suggestion and I just might have to go out and make my own! This one was out back behind the Sunset Idea House, constructed from a shipping container.
This is my girl, Jill. You probably can't place where you've seen her before, so let me help you out - it was right here! (That's Jill on the steps of her award-winning garden! :)
If you become a fan of Sunset Magazine on Facebook, they have some great images loaded showing the construction of the container. Fascinating!
We saw a lot of raised garden ideas like this simple space solution that was intelligently placed atop bales of hay! (Although I'm not sure that corn is going have much of a chance in such shallow quarters.)
Again, but this time on top of a chicken coop.
I secretly want to keep bees. Well it's not really a secret anymore, now is it. Except to maybe my neighbor. (Hi Bridget!!)
Let me say that for a very long time, I have loved, with great passion, Sunset's identity. Love, love, love. So I was all too excited to come across their tiny booth selling all sorts of useful orange items with the Sunset identity on them. Everything was incredibly well priced - $5 - $10 - and so I bought lots of gift items for like-minded friends.
How many people do you know with a Sunset case for their iPhone. I'll tell you how many - one. And that one is ME!!!
Way back in my former life, The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) was always my favorite shows to walk, and to exhibit in. In fact, this mother and son getaway was conveniently timed to coordinate with it, and I have no regrets exposing the little guy to all it's cutting edge design.
You could spend all four days of the show, walking the floor. You could. This time, we did not. Something about attending a trade show with a six year old will keep you moving at a brisk pace. It's either that, or spend your time repeatedly scraping the small child off the floor. It's your call.
So this time, we breezed through. We walked the whole floor - just the little man and me - in about two hours. To give you some perspective of how one's experience can differ, we ran into a friend at the show who was on his third day, and had only walked half the floor. Like so many things, it's what you make of it.
If you've don't know anything about ICFF, here are just a couple of the pieces/companies that caught my eye. The UK's Tom Dixon made an impressionable impact at the entrance to the show:
New from Lledaro were these lovely porcelain containers/buildings that looked stunning in a tabletop collection.
Oh, goodness - who is this?! Shame on me! I was drawn to the booth and it's western backdrop at first, but really loved the designers modern spin on some old American pieces - like that coat rack bench in back. These pieces offer a great option for the modernist-loving cabin owner.
I love wallpaper and can't seem to get enough of it in my own home. Scandinavian designer Piet Hein Eek just complicated things with his dramatic scrapwood wallpaper.
Jonathan Adler will always be one of my favorites. I've been collecting his ceramic pieces for several years and now have my eye on his recently released shark statue (see below).
I stopped by Nurseryworks' booth and spoke with founder Traci Fleming who showed me their new Uptown and Hollis collections. I only wish there had been such stylish options available when I started birthing kids. I was also loving the wallpaper in their booth - Views of Paris by Schumacher.
Philippe Starck for Baccarat:
Catching a glimpse of this booth through cracks in the isles was the only thing that kept the little animal lover moving.
d-torso from Japan makes these wonderful cardboard cutouts. I was enamoured with the product on its own but when one of the of the men in the booth gave an animal package to the little man for construction, my heart just melted. The project was so fun and kept us busy over lunch - see below.
Tool for School was another exciting exhibit that had a large presence at the entrance of the show. It's the result of 8th graders from The School of Columbia University collaborating on a redesign of classroom furniture with Bernhardt and Aruliden. I loved the results - and so did the kid!
Then it was time for lunch in the Village at an old favorite.
Remember the gift from d-torso?
After pizza we strolled the Village, went back to the hotel and rested before dinner at Mars 2112, and Spiderman on Broadway. The performance was incredible - a must for any little boy. And if you think that little boy might also like a martian themed dinner, then what the heck, take him to Mars 2112. But get your wits about you before you go in there because it's nowhere you want to go without good reason. Enough said, enjoy the show!