Saturday, December 29, 2007

We're back ... earlier than expected, but still having had an amazing time. To get away from the city and all the crazy Christmas rush, hurry, and hype we went camping in Death Valley. We had planned to stay until New Years Day which would have been truly amazing, but alas, an early return was upon us. Death Valley National Park is spectacular and so large - the things to see are endless. The places we camped are accessed via some serious 4-wheel drive roads (one of them was a series of 4 dry waterfalls) and the reward from the grueling crawl-drive was total beauty.

Death Valley is littered with abandoned structures. The entire region has a rich history of mining and prospecting, as well as a lot of boom and bust. Ghost towns, abandoned mine shafts, empty swimming pools fed by hot springs, little mining encampments ... all of the left-overs were a feast! I spent more time taking pictures of the decaying buildings and foundations instead of the really amazing rock formations.

The first night we were lucky enough to sleep in the Geologist's Cabin (above) at Striped Butte. This extremely well maintained and popular cabin was a highlight. Its remoteness reminded me instantly of the Papa Stour holiday cottage in Scotland (with which I am mildly obsessed) and upon stepping inside the first thing I did was take pictures of all four interior walls.

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Another night we camped out a place called Tarantula Mine which, despite the scary name, was another highlight. Apparently who ever owned the land continued to mine there until the 70's so the structures are a real mix of old and new - a newer, but totally decaying trailer (details above) and a couple of rusted out trucks from the 40's and wood shacks. The 'photo shoot' has finally forced me to actually learn how to use my dormant flickr account. See more here.

Wonderful way to spend Christmas and fantastic weather, albeit freezing at night, but good for star gazing. We'll definitely be heading back soon ... being out there makes me want to build a little house in the middle of nowhere that I can call my own.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy holidays!

Thanks to everyone who has made my first blog year a fun one... and thank you also for leaving encouraging and helpful comments - cheers!

See you in the new year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The last of the birthday gifts: a wonderful little perforated metal stand. I'm not sure which era it is from... the 50's? 60's?? I have seen a few of these, here and there, at flea markets etc. and always wanted one, but never really took the plunge. So it's a wonderful gift!. I first tried it at the couch so that it could hold magazines but it never looked quite right with everything else. So it has found a home right next to my desk, where it's actually very useful to me. Plus, I don't have any space for plants or flowers in my work area so it's nice to have a greenery on the side.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It'll be a late night tonight given some upcoming deadlines... it's not hard to load up on the caffeine when I'm drinking out of one my favorite mugs. My mom got these when she was living in England in the 70's and dared to get rid of them a few years ago, so I scooped them up. They're so tall and skinny and fit so perfectly in my hand. Plus the stamp on the bottom is gorgeous. It says 'R.F. made in Wales' in a lovely little font.

Another wonderful birthday present: a pair of Bauer Pottery salt and pepper shakers, which again, fit right into my kitchen's apparent color scheme!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

One deadline down, three more to go for Monday! Hence my little absence.

Keeping me sane are my wonderful birthday presents, well christened and much loved. First up: Emile Henry tajine. Now that I have cooked several meals in this, I cannot imagine how I lived with out it. Not only does it cook food oh-so-deliciously, it is also a truly beautiful object, and lucky for me, compliments everything else in my kitchen.

While washing the dishes this morning I noticed how bright and happy everything looked on the tea towel. I love red. Moreover, I love red alongside blue and yellow.... and white, and black and grey... and everything. Thank you, R... I love my tajine.

Speaking of surrounding yourself with beloved objects, I point you towards this thoughtful post on sprink.

And thank you to all for the nice birthday wishes! It was a lovely weekend indeed.

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's my birthday today! I'm heading out of town for a few days for a little birthday fun with two very good friends of mine who also have their birthdays this weekend. Good old Sagittarians :)

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I bought a few of these cigarette cards at a flea market years ago, recently rediscovered them and subsequently purchased even more on Ebay. The illustrations are beautiful, reminding me of simpler days... and actually they are really informative! I have a another bunch framed in my bathroom. I don't have a garden (alas!) but these "Garden Tips" cards are quite lovely... I already know how to dig, but who knows, perhaps I will need to know make a dovecote one day :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I like the softness in this image. I took it at the Salton Sea.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

We all know how distracting the internet can be (or, for that matter, our very own persons can be - a recent post on skinny laminx that made me laugh out loud because I can so easily relate). I have a big deadline for Tuesday but instead of diligently working towards that I am fixating on Hella Jongerius' Office Pets (via karin's style blog). If they were all rolling around in my workspace, could they make it easier for me to work on this beautiful Sunday afternoon when I should really be outside enjoying the Los Angeles version of Autumn? ... Maybe :)