Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Field Trip

 Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.                                                                                         -Mahatma Ghandi


You know that list you've been socially pressured into making  make before a supposedly life-altering birthday?  I'm speeding down the path to a milestone birthday and I could care less except that I made one of those lists.  For reasons too boring to go into, going to Taliesin is on the list.  Today it gets checked off (as long as I don't get lost).  Wish me luck :)  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

123 ABC Summer Review

Sometime progress is hard to see, unless you look back to see where you've been.  The beginning of the school year has me looking back at our summer...

Little Blue Egg in a Little Brown Nest  (We spent as much time as possible outside - until it got too hot and too dry!  This nest was found early in the summer on a trailer hitch (!), photo by Miss D.)

Little Fish:  Olympic fever took over in the pool this summer!  Those googles make me giggle :)

"On the Pontoon..."  (Don't you love that song!?)  Usually the yard is our summer project - This year we needed a trailer to get our vintage :) pontoon boat to "the lake."  So, Kev made one himself, which meant lots of welding, sandblasting and painting in the heat.  It was so worth it!

All Done!  (Waiting for a loving home!)
Little Boy Blue  (This thrifted cabinet was $1 and I walked away! Haunted by those pulls & I went back to get it;  and now it's the perfect spot for this little dude's trucks.)

Cement, Concrete, Oh My!   
We began this concrete pouring odyssey last summer - we had our septic system replaced and wanted to add some new sidewalks and a bike path before reseeding.  Last year, most weekends that we poured, the kids went to their Grandma & Grandpa's (It was too hot to be out with us for the 3-4 hours of steady work.) This time the weather was milder & they're old enough to help with some small chores. 

Miss D helped her dad with the finish work (we sprinkled pea gravel over the top to create some texture), she also found out she can move the (empty) wheelbarrow & got to clean up tools with the hose - always the best job on a warm day!  

Still to do:  lots of dirt-moving, a concrete curb to go around one viburnum bush, fill in the inside of the bike path with landscape fabric and pea gravel, and seed. 

We celebrated completing this last section together because we can ride our bikes around the circle now! Feels like (a bit of) progress...Do you feel like you've made some progress this summer? 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Benjamin Dhong & HB

While we were pouring cement (my glamorous life) I received a wonderful surprise in my inbox . 
Last April, I did a teeny little post that featured Benjamin Dhong's work (and my fascination with faux boix - I forgot about the post, but not Benjamin or that awesome faux boix wallpaper!).  
I was stunned when I received an email from Ben with the photos of his latest work featured in House Beautiful's September Color Issue.  Ben tells me that the young British man who owns this San Francisco home drives an Aston Marten, and wears Bespoke suits.
Listen, most of the time I'm pretty sure I'm fully dressed, drive an "M" - that'd be a GMC with a couple letters missing, and my accent hails from 'da nort'.
That being said, I love Ben's designs!  He gets to know his clients (The client thought he wanted "uber-uber modern").  He uses lots of neutrals (Have you ever tried to "mix" tan, beige, and taupe - It's impossible, unless you happen to have Ben's mad talent!).  He throws in a dash of fun (Did you notice the plate above?).
Ben also isn't afraid to make something:  the rug in the dining room (above) was  pieced together to form the large diagonal pattern.

Ben uses items that "the rest of us" can source:  "I love contrasts - nothing brings me more joy than mixing old, new, high and low pieces."
The rug in the family room above is from West Elm .  West Elm, people! 
The Saarinen table is classic (You can find Saarinen style tables on Ebay!) and the mix of seating is perfection (You could do that!).  The art above the sofa is a William Curtis Wolf photo has me itching to try this photo enlarging DIY.  (Anyone else want that little brass table and basket?!)
This Cole & Son wallpaper sings when paired with shiny accessories:  like the awesome mirror and the "helmut head" lamp...  This is a case when "Helmut Head" is a really good thing!   And be still my faux bois heart, get me a Bayer, that Oly table!

Hello?  Are you still there?  I've taken the Bayer and dashed off to my sumptuous banquette.  Is there really a woman out there who has not fantasized about a British accent, an Aston Marten (maybe a Jaguar) and a living room like this?
Well, Anita liked the living room mirrors and asked where to find them on the HB Start a Conversation page and guess what?  Ben responded that you can find the mirrors in downtown Los Angeles on La Cienega. 
Which brings me to my final point:  Ben is nice.  Maybe he has people to respond to internet queries...(I do so want people, where are my people?).

People or no, I think it's obvious that Ben cares about his art.  He cares about how it affects his clients and how it affects those of us who buy the magazine.   He takes his work seriously and yet it's clearly fun for him to create these amazing spaces.  (You must see the Chinoiserie bed in the guest room!)

Thank goodness there's someone out there being kind to those Aston-Marten-driving British men.  (And the rest of us, too!)  Thank you Ben! 

You can read the HB interview here.

Cheers to you!