kriselkeeper: April 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Design Mom Feature!

Ooooh, another feature!  Design Mom featured the DIY bench project two weeks ago!  Wooohoo!  This is incredibly exciting!  Thanks Design Mom!  I was wondering where all the compliments were coming from!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Remodelista Feature!

If you look over on the far right of this blog you'll see, Remodelista,  listed as one of my all time favorite design blogs.  I can't believe it, but they featured my DIY bench project and I'm doing cartwheels!  Kind of ironic since the idea for the bench came from them to begin with!  I'm so flattered!!!  Thank you Remodelista!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Hubby's Inspirations

I went through the Hubby's work photos yesterday.  I found three very interesting and inspiring shots. I have no idea where they're from.  

I love this garden.  I love the succulents and the hanging plants.  I'm thinking this is what we'll do to the wall of our garage that faces the pool.  

I like the barstool and hanging lamps. Not my first choice for barstools yet I like them a lot.

Love the mural in this coffee shop.  It's the kind of art I'd make for my teenager's room.  Note to self to look back at these images in 10 years.  I'm always thinking ten steps, too many ahead.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rubix Cube in the Garden

I smell like a beast!  But it's a good thing.  D and I worked so hard in the garden today.  We did our big shuffling of plants.  We had Kaffir Lilies (also called Bush Lily) in the backyard along side the south fence/wall.  They've been doing fantastic but I know come summer they'll fry.  They don't like much exposure to sun and they would get all day long there.  It also dawned on me that we need a hedge running along side that wall to hide the wood beams supporting the wood portion to the wall.  We have quite a few Rosemary that would be perfect.  I love the idea of having an edible hedge.  Rosemary is also so fragrant I think it would be perfect in this area where P runs around.  She and the dog will rub up against it and smell delicious.

The Rosemary were in pots running alongside the pool and the back fence of our property.  Last summer I realized that anything in pots needs to be watered daily.  I don't have time for that.  So, the Rosemary went where the Kaffir Lilies were and succulents started to go in the pots.  

To move the Rosemary and the Kaffir Lilies I needed to move the river rocks from the front entrance of our house to the north fence, in front of the bamboo.  The bamboo is our neighbors.  She didn't put in a root barrier so it has come over to our yard big time!  This space always looks ragged.  Until I have the energy to dig 2-3 feet down by 20 feet wide,  I'm putting the river rocks and hoping it may slow down the bamboo.  Today, every move hinged on something else moving to make space for what was coming in.  

I also added a few Kaffir Lilies to the garden space in front of our bedroom window.  Kaffir's are one of my favorite flower so this seemed like an appropriate spot.   I started working on this space back in September.I cleaned the area quite a bit making it lovely for P and I to spend time there.  P's climbing structure was sort of pushed into a corner.  She loves playing on it but it was so isolated from anything else in the back yard.  It's in the shade for most of the day so I didn't want to move it elsewhere.  

Today, I put three tree rounds under the shade of the tree so P can play and I can sit with her. D found the perfect tree stumps in the Malibu neighborhoods while scouting at work one day. I angled the structure so it's part of the space not just pushed in the corner.  I also laid wood chips down in the entire play/garden area to distinguish the space.  Grass was only growing in patches.  This looks much better than half mud half grass. 

It was all a lot of work but well worth it.  I'm so sore and tired.  We've been spending a good amount of time in the garden clearing the front yard.  Trees, shrubs, steel edging, and decomposed granite are in the near future.  Here's a few before and after shots.  I'm awful at remembering to photograph the before.  I think it's because I'm never quite sure if the after will really be all that much better.



Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kid French Poster

I stopped at an art store the other day and found this wrapping paper which I decided to use as a poster in our daughter's room.  I love the artwork and that it's in French.  For $3.49 it's the greatest, least expensive art piece ever!  It's made by Cavallini & Co.  


Thursday, April 8, 2010

What Could Have Been

Roughly three years ago my husband and I were looking to buy property.  The recent launch of my kid's tee shirt/ clothing line, Learning Tees, was my focus.  I found this building listed for $640,000. It's located just east of Chinatown, across the street from the LA Transportation Dept.  Not a luxurious or hip part of town but I felt then and still do now that this will change.  

I thought getting an industrial space was going to be heaven, better than a house.  It would allow me to create a home/work environment perfect for raising a family with room for creative personal and business ideas.  This property was actually two buildings with a loading dock and outdoor space in between the two buildings.  Can you see it now?  A grassy "atrium" with cool shades hanging overhead nestled between buildings with large sliding or folding glass doors.  Tire swings hanging from the inside that swing to the outside.  Who wouldn't want to grow up there?

 Today, as I was on my way to music class with P I got lost and ended up driving past the building.  If you had asked me to find it,  I couldn't have. I don't believe in consequences.   I had to stop.  Now, three years later I can't imagine living in an industrial space secluded from parks and other families.  Again, I feel there are no consequences. I think we ended up in our home because it is the place that best suits our family's needs.  

I thought our current living space was going to be more devoted to work.  I pictured it 50-50 family-work.  It's more 80-20 and if possible I want it to go 90-10.  But the thing that makes our house so ideal for P and us is not so much what's inside it but what's just out side of it....our neighbors.  There are 10 other children who P sees often and she knows as her friends.  I've been through some rough events in the last two years; the near loss of my marriage, the loss of a child and the loss of my father and the hardest transition of all: motherhood.  People have asked me what has gotten me through all this with such ease. (It always looks easier from the outside).  Without a doubt it's been my neighbors.  

When we knew we were moving to the Valley,  my husband and I also planned to move back to the west side as soon as it was financially possible.  The plan has changed.  Great real estate is hard to find but great neighbors are even harder to come by. Although it sounds cliche and dorky it's true.  

I drove around the building's neighborhood today to see if my gut instinct about the area was right.  And sure enough buildings that look like this have started to pop up.  Now, if only I could use that gut instinct to milk a few lucrative investments then I could make our house the vision I've been dreaming about.  

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