Wednesday, January 30, 2008

feather headdress

I am always so fascinated by the African feather headdresses. They are so stunning. I already know two different places I would hang one if I had one. I googled it the other day and found it at an online art gallery for an art price. The second photo shows the headdress closed. You can see that it hinges onto the cap part. How do I make one of these?

February jumpstart?

I missed the January Jumpstart deadline on Apartment Therapy this month, but I did intend to try re-painting an old cabinet in my officeat some point. I was kinda inspired by these photos I took in Japan a few years back - one of the pine branch and then the cherry blossoms below. Was also just thinking of getting the pine tree decal from Ferm Living, but they are sold out.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

La Miniatura House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Today, we had the great privilege of touring Frank Lloyd Wright's La Miniatura house with the Friends of the Gamble House in Pasadena, CA. Thanks AT:LA for the reminder.

After seeing and hearing about his life and work, he is big time in my book. According to Frank Henry's lecture, held the evening before, Frank Lloyd Wright built 700 building throughout his lifetime, 135 of them in after turning 80 years old. He was extremely in tune with nature always responding to the it rather than just building on top of it. Architecture didn't inspire him, music did. When asked about his favorite architect, he would say Beethoven. He was also inspired by poetry. He believed that the principles were the same, it was just the medium that differed.

It was in phase of his career that he was called "the Weaver" because he experimented with concrete blocks which he "knitted together" using mesh and rebar to create a series of textile block homes. Textiles in architecture? Love it.

Here are some photos of the outside. No photos allowed inside. The house is privately owned and has just finished a year of renovations with more to come. I would call it a miracle that it was an almost perfect day here in LA for the tour today. It's been raining harder this past week than it had in last year. According to a lady on the bus, 1,000 tickets were sold for today's event.
Front gate that opens up to the home and two more parcels of open grass area. You can see some of the tarp in the top right corner.

Front entrance to the house. Imagine walking into this for a dinner party! The blocks are just as gorgeous in real life. All that concrete in a pattern has so much volume, but never feels cold like you might think concrete would feel.

Pathway connecting the studio with the main house, supporting a patio above. The house was built in a ravine, which happen to be the unwanted piece of land that cost 1/5 of the price of the other plots in the area. The trees and the greenery are so romantic in this place. One of the docents told a story about how a fellow architect, whose parents happen to live in the next housing complex when this house was being built (ok, that's crazy), actually laughing at Lloyd Wright because he wanted to build in what essentially was the storm drain of the neighborhood. 

This balcony came off the 2nd floor living room. This room was a spectacular space with tall redwood ceilings, a stunning fireplace bound by textile block columns, these french doors that opened out into the balcony above. You could just imagine the evenings spent there. The light was amazing in the space, especially at the time the we were there. I almost snuck in a shot, but I was afraid of bad karma.

No photography was allowed inside the house, but I did sneak a shot of it from the outside. This is the studio where she had an upstairs loft office and then this downstairs where Alice Millard, the owner of the house, showcased her antiques and vintage book colllection. 
They used local material for the concrete, a wood cast, and cheap manual labor to produce the blocks.

The last stop on the tour was the backyard where you got an overall view of the house. Again, totally inspired...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Heal the Bay

It's been raining like crazy here. Last night's rain was heavy and almost scary, keeping us up during the wee hours. This morning, it makes me think of our So-Cal beaches and how polluted they're going to be after the rain.  So, I signed up for Heal the Bay's beach clean up email list. They are a great organization that coordinates beach clean-ups. A friend suggested just going down to the beach and picking up the trash in the water. It really is as easy as that...


bird bread

Japanese treats are the best. This bird bread was too clever and uses the dough removed from the eyes and pinches it back on as the beak of the bird. Love it. And the sweet bean filling was so good inside.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

no more plastic bags!

It was bound to happen! Whole Foods will be plastic bag free by Earth Day in April. Via:



Last night, I impulse bought the Recycline/Preserve food colander. I also just recently got the toothbrush  at the Eco Gift Fair in Santa Monica last December. Both are made out of recycled plastic and, I believe, can be recycled back to the company. 


Monday, January 21, 2008

Apology to Gwen Stefani

I would like to apologize to a true local inspiration Gwen Stefani (I went to CSUF and No Doubt would be the first band to play every Fall Semester back in the day), her husband Gavin Rossdale, and their baby Kingston -- for staring. The story goes like this...

In my efforts to shop locally, we decide to take what might be our second ever trip to the Hollywood Farmers Market this past Sunday morning. We walk the market, buy produce and then decide to have lunch there. After getting some food, we successfully score one empty seat at one of those random communal tables, this one happened to be behind the booths. Of course we have no idea what is about to happen, so we simply sit down and start eating.

I look beside me just to be aware of who we were sitting with and think wow, they are dressed up for the market. In my head, I think, they look like amazing Gwen Stefani Family wanna be's. Here is this petite chick, hair done, with perfect skin, lipstick and nails. This is entirely possible since we are in the middle of Hollywood. The pragmatic side says to me, they can't be real because she'd have on a baseball cap, etc, right? So, minding my own business, I check my phone messages and talk about the fun evening at an art opening the night before. Casually, I catch another glimpse...Huh?

This really can't be... Gwen Stefani sitting next to me!? Her elbow is seriously inches away from my elbow. She is out here in broad daylight? Suddenly, I become beyond myself trying to figure this out. I am not quite convinced because she was so regular, easy going, laughing, playing with her baby, but just dressed up in a glamorous way. I have regulars friends who dress fabulous. I proceed to stare, rationalizing by thinking we are in public, I can be that weird person today. Crazy, right? I blatantly check out her outfit, her husband's outfit, their little lo key stroller. She is eating out of styrofoam for god's sake! Of course the baby is the only brave one to acknowledge the fact that I was starring because he looks right back!!

It was at this point that I wish I would've given the baby a smile, as I normally would have to any other adorable baby, to break the awkwardness that was developing, but I am simply having this out of body experience. I should've figured out it was her after spying the huge jewels on her fingers, but honestly, I was really really confused and, I guess at one point, frozen in time, having no idea that my eyes were invasively inspecting every inch of these people, trying to find some sort of clue!

They speak softly so I can't confirm based on their voices which we know so well. Gavin gets out his camera to take pictures of the baby with his messy mouthful of so-so mexican food (plate of food in photo above). Too cute. They leave gracefully at which time I say, she looked so much like Gwen Stefani, wow. Uh, yeah... because it was!!!

I don't usually get star struck and it would've been fine seeing them maybe ten feet away, but, she was sitting seriously right next to me, we could've been best friends sharing a meal together!! She even left her baby sitting alone with me just for a second. Her husband gave my husband a chin up. Ya. It was confirmed by the girl who sat in their place after they left. She said she saw Gwen at Whole Foods all time time and had even been in one of her videos as an extra. For about fifteen minutes, I totally flipped out. I called a friend who I knew I could gush with.

Four hours later, however, I feel SO guilty that I stared and didn't just treat them like some cool local people we happen to share a table with at farmers market with. So I am SO sorry Stefani-Rossdales!! I promise never to invade anyone's relaxing Sunday morning again, celebrity or not!! It was an honor sitting next to your beautiful family and learning that we not all so far apart!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

shopping local

Went to the Hollywood Farmers Market today to shop for my vegetables locally. One of my New Years resolutions is to schedule the local markets into my life instead of buying everything at Whole Foods at my convenience. Also making a conscious effort to eat more leafy greens on a regular basis after hearing this week's Good Food interview on KCRW with the author of the Omnivore's Dilemma. It was a warm and beautiful January day here in LA and all the food looked amazing as usual. I am still in training because my eyes get bigger than my ability to possibly cook all the food that I end up buying just because of their good looks. I'm working on it, I have all year don't I!?

ps. Sat at the same table, elbow to elbow, to Gwen Stefani (crazy!) + family at the farmers market.. totally surreal...


Thursday, January 17, 2008

a composite

The other day I read that we are a composite of the 5 people we spend the most time with.... hmm, true.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


We finally made it to Intelligentsia, a great coffee shop right in Sunset Junction. The floors are spectacular and may inspire my next bathroom redo. And the gorgeous hot cocoa, to die for.

Malaika Zweig

This is the work my dear friend Malaika Zweig. Her show which opens this Saturday at JK Gallery in Culver City will feature her gorgeous ink drawings on what might be some sort of vellum. This makes for those ebs, flows and gorgeous (sorry, I know I already used that word!) blots. And as usual, I love the asymmetry and abstract-ness of it all. I can't wait to see them up close. I'm totally inspired...

Friday, January 11, 2008


Two pieces of amazing jewelry I wore this past holiday... 
The first is one of a kind and made of found drift wood and bullet casings by Fringe. I love it because the boyfriend makes these gorgeous pieces and the girlfriend models and sells them. I purchased this one at gift fair at the lofts downtown. 
The second is a 1930's-40's vintage piece from a little shop in Eagle Rock called Lady. Camille, who has got impeccable taste, used to source vintage jewelry for Trina Turk

miu miu & neisha crosland

Miu Miu & classic Neisha Crosland wallpaper together in the latest campaign for Miu Miu!? What more can a designer ask for!

almond meringue crips

Europane Bakery in Pasadena never fails... every pastry I've had there has been delicious and beautiful. Whenever we make it over there, I usually walk out with 2-3 different ones depending on which ones I am visually drooling over at a given time. We bought a bag of these gorgeous almond meringue crisps... perfect with tea.

Plate is by Edith Abeyta.

Hitachino Nest Ale

Before today, I could never imagine calling a beer cute. Now I've found Hitachino Nest. It also comes in pink.

kate spade

Kate Spade day planner I got for christmas from a dear friend... Love the planner and the imagery is brilliant, but I have to admit I may even be more in love with the box. It will definitely be a re-use box right up there with my pink corrugated shoe box from Miu Miu, and a woven rattan jewelry container I got when I bought a ceramic necklace in the Philippines.

Monday, January 07, 2008


This smockshop postcard stuck out amongst all those flyers you see by the door. So simple and by the feel of the raised ink on the card, it looks like it was hand printed using a linoleum block. Even better is the concept behind the shop -- creatives take this simple smock pattern and make it their own using their own fabrics and embellishments.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

hanky gifts

Gave hankies as my eco-conscious Christmas gifts this year... 


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

origami notebook

I found the most amazing thing on a shelf at my mother-in-law's house yesterday... her organized notebook from an origami class she took when she was in college. She was so humble about it, but I knew she spent many painstaking hours completing it. She was also proud because she specifically showed me the "A+" on the front page. I asked her if I could photograph it because I happen to have my camera with me. She said yes, and so I brought it out on the porch where the light was perfect and slowly documented. After a while she peeped outside and in her Japanese accent softly and shyly said, "stop it, stop it," and giggled. Not only are the colors and geometric shapes gorgeous, you can feel the calm and patience that was put into making it.  I'm taking that as a sign for the new year...