kriselkeeper: September 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Eames House

 Photographs courtesy of David S. Ferdig photography. Copyright 2011.

In yesterday's LA times there were several articles(one, two, three) about the temporary relocation/recreation of the Eames Pacific Palisades house.  The living room will live at LACMA for the next six months as part of a large city-wide exhibition called "Living in a Modern Way: California Design 1930-1965".

I'm really looking forward to seeing the exhibition and I'm very interested to see the living room...again.  In 2006 Dave was asked to shoot pictures of Eames Demetrios, the grandson of Ray and Charles, for Desert Living Magazine.  I got to go along as his photo assistant one day... the day he went to the Eames house in the Palisades.  I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity but the magnitude of it all didn't hit me until I read the articles yesterday.  I've actually walked in that very living room! The real living room! 

Two things I love to do: 1: get to visit someone's house and 2: get to see their bedroom. I think both reveal a whole lot about who they are.  It's almost like getting a peek inside the person's thought process. In fact, I'd consider it better than a psychological analysis.  So, you can imagine how amazing it was for me to stand in Ray and Charles Eames' house. Two design icons of our time! (Just the living room and office. Not the bedroom!)

I must say at first I was a bit surprised. I expected their home to be more of the stereotypical Modern movement.  I've seen so many Julius Shulman photographs of the 1950's.  I think I expected the "creators" of the look to exemplify it beyond anything else I had seen.  

Instead, the house had the foundation or base coat of the Modern movement with accents of a life well-traveled, well-lived and well-embraced. You could see what inspired Ray and Charles.  And there was no doubt they were artist.  The place felt organic and evolved much the same as an artist develops his/her work.  

  Photographs courtesy of David S. Ferdig photography. Copyright 2011.

I don't know how to say this without sounding pompous. What surprised me the most was that their living room had sort of the same essence of our apartment.  Not that I think Dave and I are Charles and Ray but there were some similarities in the way our places looked.  It really surprised me.  I didn't think we had absolutely anything in common with a couple as accomplished as them.

At the time we were living on the 22nd floor on the west-side.  Our building was built in the 1950's. It had the definite structure of the era, with floor to ceiling windows.  Our living room was filled with books and pieces of our travels from all over the world.  Each piece had a memory of a place and time.  We liked to keep the things that inspired us in obvious places throughout the house. Because we had floor to ceiling windows I had plants in pots that "mingled" from the outdoor balcony into the interior.  The Eames had all the same types of things. The big difference, of course, was that the Eames have amazing furniture.  While Dave and I only had select good accent pieces, they have a house full of amazing pieces. 

I guess in a way it was inspiring to have even a single thread of commonality with them.  I think it's something any artist will find when they see the exhibition.  Reading the articles yesterday reminded me that I need to remain true to the essence our our family through the design of this house.  It doesn't matter that we live in a Mid Century Modern home and that some people expect it to look a certain way.  The home can have the structure of the era but the essence of the home needs to remain Dave's and mine. 

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Newspaper & Mulch

I read somewhere that newspaper works as a great weed barrier.  I had my could something that's free and so easily available (we get the paper daily) beat weeds?  Turns out it really does work! There's something about the acidity of the ink that keeps the weeds at bay.  Over a year ago I laid it down in select areas of our front yard and to this day those areas are almost weed free.  

Now that our entire front yard has been landscaped I'm resorting to my free weed fighting solution.  Even though a great part of the front is now a dg pathway there is still a lot of square footage of planter beds.  We've covered almost half of it and we're trying to get the rest done before the rains come.  

I was going to order mulch but I had no idea how expensive it was!  I got quotes from $700-2,000 for the amount I needed.  I'd rather put that money towards buying more plants.  So Dave went to get free mulch from the city.  The good thing is it's free, the bad thing is that sometimes it can be hard to find. Lately, it's been running out quickly.  

I had also heard that the city mulch came with cut glass, syringes, etc.  So far that has not been the case. Dave says he sorts through what he brings home.   On rare occasion he's found a piece of glass but nothing like what we had heard.  Maybe it depends on what part of town you're getting it from.  

It's amazing how just putting down the same color mulch all around will clean up a space.  I love that Dave found dark mulch. The contrast between the planted space and the pathway is beautiful.  The only small problem is making sure all the paper is covered up. If it starts to become exposed here and there the yard starts to look like it's been trashed. But, like I said, it's a small problem. I continue to love working and spending time in our front yard. I continue to love seeing it grow.  Once we get the paper and mulch down I'll be looking forward to the rainy season!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Mow Baby Mow!

I love this picture! P has become very interested in helping with daily chores or household activities.  She helped me mow the lawn the week before and then wanted to help Dave to. I'm so proud of her self motivation and understanding that she has a role and purpose in our house.

The other thing I love about this picture is our lawn. Oh I love this lush green space that's just ours! I love our hedge of lavender.  It's all come a long way baby!!!