Thursday, October 28, 2010

Craft_Spooky Yo-Yo Halloween Greeting Cards

I'm slightly obsessed with sewing yo-yos - a small circular piece of fabric sewn at the edges and gathered.  A popular style of quilting from 1920 to 1940, quilters liked because they are a portable project that doesn't require much time and utilizes scraps of fabric (very "green").  I attempted to sew yo-yos on my own, until my Mom bought me a yo-yo template like this from JoAnne's.  The yo-yo template is fabulous!  It's so fast and easy to sew one after the other.

BUT now I have hundreds of yo-yos I don't know what to do with (well maybe not hundreds).  I'm now always in search of yo-yo embellishment ideas.  For Halloween I crafted these themed greeting cards:

Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

House Tour_MAK Architecture Tour_10.10.10

One of my favorite things to do is go on a house tour - more specifically historic house tours.  On what would have been Julius Shulman's 100th birthday,  the MAK Center hosted a tour of six private homes that were documented by Shulman at various points during his career.  Throughout Julius Shulman's 72 year career, he documented nearly 8,000 modern houses designed by Schindler, Neutra, Sorian, Koening, and lesser known architects.  The renewed interest in modern architecture is partially tied to the popularity in Shulman's iconic images.

Here are some of my favorite photographs from the day:

Lovell 'Health' House (Richard Neutra, 1928-29)
4616 Dundee Drive, Los Angeles
Photographed by Shulman 1950, 1967

Lovell 'Health' House (Richard Neutra, 1928-29)

Lovell 'Health' House (Richard Neutra, 1928-29)

Lovell 'Health' House (Richard Neutra, 1928-29)

Gantert House (Pierre Koening, 1981), 6431 La Punta Drive, Los Angeles
Photographed by Shulman 1986

Gantert House (Pierre Koening, 1981)

Gantert House (Pierre Koening, 1981)

Hillside House (Carl Louis Maston, 1962), 8707 St. Ives Drive, Los Angeles
Photographed by Shulman 1962

Shulman House (Raphael Soriano, 1947-50)
7875 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Los Angeles
Photographed by Shulman 1950

Shulman House (Raphael Soriano, 1947-50)
Shulman House (Raphael Soriano, 1947-50)

Gold House (R.M. Schindler, 1945)
3758 Reklaw Drive, Studio City
Photographed by Shulman 1947
Gold House (R.M. Schindler, 1945)

Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The National Trust’s 16 to See

The November/December 2010 Issue of Preservation: The Magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation profiled 16 National Trust Historic Sites.  I’ve only been to 2 out of the 16!

1.       1.  Acoma Sky City, Acoma, N.M. (1150 A.D.)
2.       2.  Drayton Hall, Charleston, S.C.  (1742)
3.       3.  African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School, Boston, Ma (1806, 1834)
4.       4.  Oatlands, Leesburg, Va.  (c. 1809)
5.       5.  Shadows-on-the-Teche , New Iberia, La. (1834)
6.       6.  Lower East Side Tenement Museum, New York City, N.Y. (1863)
7.       7.  Villa Fnale, San Antonio, Tx. (1876)
8.       8.  Brucemore, Cedar Rapids, Ia. (1886)
9.       9.  Hotel de Paris, Georgetown, Co. (c. 1890)
10.    10.  Chesterwood, Stockbridge, Ma. (1900)
11.    11.  Frederick C. Robie House, Chicago, Il. (1910)
12.    12.  Kykuit, Tarrytown, N.Y. (1913)
13.    13.  Woodrow Wilson House, Washington, D.C. (1915)
14.    14.  Filoli, Woodside, Ca. (1917)
15.    15.  Philip Johnson Glass House, New Canaan, Conn. (1949)
16.    16.  Farnsworth House, Plano, Ill. (1951)
Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Cut and Sew Apron

I love aprons.  When I bake I think slipping on an apron adds an extra special ingredient to any recipe.  I made this John Deere apron for a cupcake themed birthday present.  The entire apron pattern purchased at JoAnne's, pre-printed, and only rquired cutting and sewing for assembly.  I added a little extra dazzle with rhinestones randomly bedezzaled and a piece of lace sewn at the bottom.  And why did I choose a John Deere apron?  Well in college we both took a tractor driving class together at UC Davis and yes we actually drove a tractor and learned how to change a tractor driver.  A significant skill to know in the wilds of Los Angeles. 
The apron started with this...
No pattern needed!  Just cut and sew!  And yes, it was that easy!
. . . .and ended as this!
 I completed the birthday gift with the addition of fun cupcake liners, sprinkles, and a cupcake recipe book.  I highly recommend Karen Tack and Alan Richardson's whimsical cupcake recipe books, Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make and What's New, Cupcake?: Ingeniously Simple Designs for Every OccasionThe photographs are wonderful and the ideas so creative.
Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


In honor of Julius Shulman's 100th birthday on 10/10/10, I attended the "Image.Architecture.Now" Symposium hosted by the Julius Shulman Institute (School of Architecture, Woodbury University) over the weekend.  Two panels of architects and photographers discussed their work and musings on photography and architecture.  The photographers on the panel - Livia Corona, Sze Tsung Leong, and Iwan Baan - are exceptional.  Instead of static, boring photographs of buildings, the photographers focus on the implications architecture has on society both the beautiful and the ugly. Here is a taste of their talent:

From "Two Million Homes for Mexico," Livia Corona

From "Two Million Homes for Mexico," Livia Corona
 "When driving through these neighborhoods, one sees endless rows of 100 to 200 square foot homes where constructions have reduced what is actual community building to the mere construction of housing. This type of urbanization prototype, now prevalent in Mexico, marks a profound change in the shaping of our experience as citizens of a broader world. In my photographs I am particularly interested in the effects of these neighborhoods as cultural backdrop, and their role in forming the perspective of the younger generations who live in these neighborhoods through key formative years. ” - Livia Corona
Daochuan Long, Nan Shi, Huangpu District, Shanghai, 2004 C-Print © Sze Tsung Leong,
Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery
China Central Television Headquarters by Ole Scheeren and Rem Koolhaas, Iwan Baan

Pin It Now!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I'm loving these Abigail Ahern lamps.  The pelican, bulldog, greyhound, and poodle lamps are a modern, whimsical twist on vintage lighting.  The lamps are made in England and the lamp shades are made in Paris.  It's possible to customize the lamp - pick a lamp base and then the desired shade.  Wish I could snap up one now!
Atelier Abigail Ahern
Abigail Ahern Lamps
Find it here:
Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I am a self confessed master piddler (the word my Mom always called me growing up). I can fill may day doing a little a bit of everything, but at the days end there will only be half-finished projects scattered about. My favorite things include crafts, baking, flipping through magazines, roaming flea markets and garage sales, traveling, and anything with a patina. Usually I try to make do with what I have and re-purpose it to make something beautiful.

So, I've decided to change the name and content of my blog to share how I piddle about. The content of my blog will cover things I love, things I glean inspiration from, and things I make. While reading French Women for all Seasons by Mireille Guiliano, I stumbled upon the French word Bricolage in the vocabulary index. Immediately after reading her beautiful definition I had an "ah ha" moment. Bricolage defined me. Mireille explains, "French women (and men) have made an art of making do with what's at hand, whether with one's clothes or what's in season at the market, or available in a storeroom or closet...I love this word, bricolage, which comes from the verb bricoler, to tinker about, mostly around the house...It has a special cultural meaning in that it celebrates a person, un bricoleur (masculine) or une bricoleuse (feminine), who is creative and imaginative and who puts things together in fresh and original ways." (pp. 337-338)  And that's just me...I love tinkering around the house making use of whatever I have laying about.

Pin It Now!