Sunday, September 27, 2009

Calling all KAA Fans

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Here's your chance to see another amazing home created by Grant Kirkpatrick's firm, KAA, as well as the work of three other innovative L.A. architects; Michael Lee, James Meyer, and James Mullen-Carey & William Beauter.



From the AIA website...


2009 AIA Los Angeles Fall Home Tour
A Day in Manhattan (Beach!)
Sunday, October 4, 2009
11 am – 4 pm

The American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles invites you to join us for our Home Tour series, featuring beautiful houses by Los Angeles's leading architects. You can see the homes, talk to the architects, and discover new designs for living.

How the tours work:
Houses are typically open from 11am - 4pm. Attendees receive a ticket, map, driving directions and information on each of the tour homes. Docents and members of the design team (schedule permitting) are available at each of the homes to answer questions and guide you through the houses.

The tour is recommended for guests 12 years old and up. There is no discount for children or babies in arms.

Tickets:
$75 per person per tour (AIA/LA non-members)
$65 per person per tour (AIA/LA members)

Limited tickets available day of tour for $85.

For Tickets: Order online at www.aialosangeles.org or call 213.639.0777
Tickets and directions are mailed out one week prior to tour.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Steve McQueen Ranch

photo: Jeffrey Ong / PostRain Productions




A Santa Paula ranch once owned by actor Steve McQueen and his third wife, Barbara Minty, has come on the market for $1.95 million.

The pair moved to the 15.3-acre Ventura County ranch in 1979 and were married in the home's living room in January 1980.

The 1892 Victorian-style house has antique stained-glass windows, mountain views, and family room and kitchen fireplaces.

The ranch includes 3 acres of Syrah vineyards, fruit trees, a 3-acre equestrian facility and a 4,500-square-foot hangar where McQueen kept his car and motorcycle collection, which eventually included about 130 bikes.

He picked the ranch because it reminded him of the Slater, Mo., farm where he lived during his childhood and because of its proximity to Santa Paula Airport, where he flew his yellow Stearman biplane.

Known for his macho roles and tough-guy persona, the box-office star appeared in such films as "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), "The Great Escape" (1963), "Bullitt" (1968), "Papillon" (1973) and "The Towering Inferno" (1974).

McQueen, who had contracted mesothelioma, died of a heart attack following surgery in 1980. He was 50.


"LeMans" (1971)


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bo Bridges V2

photo credit - Bo Bridges


Today I discovered a little gallery called Spit Studio in Hermosa Beach. Spit showcases the work of local artists but primary the photography of Bo Bridges.

Below is some of Bridges' work starting with an exterior shot for the regional magazine, Luxury Life & Style.


architecture - rockefeller partners

Bridges' portfolio runs the gamut from lifestyle to action to landscapes.


Monyka



Hermosa Sunset



Colleen


Greg Lutzka



F-18



Teahupoo Wave


Below Spit Studio in Hermosa Beach





Check out the Bo Bridges site when you have a chance and also Rockefeller Partners Architects.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

San Juan Canvas

My High School friend, Lauren Cohen, and her husband, Derek Steere, own and operate San Juan Canvas, a marine canvas and sailmaking company located in Friday Harbor, Washington.



Aside from making all things boat related (don't ask me the details, I wouldn't know Port from Starboard) she makes these great canvas bags from sail remnants.











Here's a little copy from the San Juan Canvas website:

San Juan Canvas bags are handmade right here at our marine canvas shop in the Port of Friday Harbor. Our unique bags are made from leftover canvas and sailcloth, turning scrap material into useful and beautiful products. Each bag is custom made in just the colors and size you want it. Sailcloth bags can have numbers or letters that have special meaning. Recycled sailcloth can be used as well.



You can learn more about these eco-friendly and adorable bags here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fashion Illustrations, as promised

Below are a few illustrations my mom did for a Bullock's Lingerie brochure printed sometime in the 1970s. For those of you who weren't around in L.A. during the 70s and 80s, Bullock's Department Store was comparable to an upscale Macy's.  Several other department stores in Los Angeles hired my mom for freelance fashion work and when she lived briefly in Detroit she also drew for Bonwit Teller.

My mom drew fashion all through her 20s, 30s and 40s and then switched to painting animal portraits. She loved animals and I think painting them gave her more joy than the fashion did. Mostly she painted Thoroughbreds and dogs but every so often she'd branch out to paint a family portrait. Eventually she stopped drawing and painting altogether.  When I asked her why she replied, "It's just too damn hard." That was so something my mom would say. She did paint very sporadically on and off for the next 20 years but only if it was something that truly inspired her, or if a friend would ask. The latter of which took a lot of cajoling.

After Mom quit art she worked for ten years in the psych division for the Veteran's Administration as an administrative assistant. I can't imagine that being much easier. Right?

Moral of the story: Good artists make something difficult look effortless.  Or...don't underestimate your administrative assistant, you never know what skills he/she may possess.








This brochure was printed in purple ink so back then, like now, purple must have been the "it" color.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Mom

Kathleen Tugwell Francuch

Aside from being a wife and mother of two, my mom was a talented painter and fashion illustrator.
One day I'll post some of her drawings.
I promise.

If she were to describe herself she'd likely use these adjectives:

honest-to-a-fault
generous
curious
painfully shy
creative
quirky
introspective
brainy
and (although she'd have a hard time admitting this) stylish!

It's hard for me to be objective, but from a child's perspective she was beautiful too.

Five years ago today my mother passed away...and it seems like yesterday.

Wherever you are, mom, I love you and miss you.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Can we turn this outfit into a room?




The colors and textures in this outfit from Marina Rinaldi say Fall 2009 in a big way.

After staring at this photo for a bit, I wondered how it would look translated into a room. All these rich textures -- the fur, the suede skirt, the patent leather boots, the crisp cotton blouse and buttons, the matte tights -- lend to a cozy crash pad. Finally, the linen chair and the marble background add a little old school air. Tie in the deep purple with the yellow and you have a great fall color combination. I really loved it, so I decided to take a stab at it as a bohemian bedroom.

To start, let's layer in this contemporary 6x9 wool rug.

Kira Plum from Crate and Barrel


For the bed, something simple in wrought iron.

Avery bed from Pottery Barn



The room would need a dresser.

Avery Chest from Crate and Barrel


We'd need a place to zip up our boots, right? So how about an upholstered linen bench at the foot of the bed (but change the nail heads from silver to brass).

Colette - from Crate


a couple of side tables...

from Crate



Decker Bookshelf from Anthropologie


On top of our dresser, we'd need this to help us feel beautiful after a long night out...

from Anthropologie


These frames too. A bit more gold but not too much.
Bali Frames - from Oly


A little ambience created with these pendants...
Tea Bowl Lanterns, Anthropologie


and this clock/mirror

Convex Clock Mirror - from Restoration Hardware

For bedding, these crisp sheets...

Etienne from Crate


This silk pillow bumps things up a notch especially since we need what's next.

House Pillow - from Oly


To pull in the fur coat, this faux throw. It's a tad cheesy but we need it, don't you think?

Aubergine throw, from Z Gallery


Top it off with a little tonalistic art...


So here she is again...




And here's everything pulled together in the room.