Installation - Eva Black

I apologize for the cardinal sin I am committing by copying another blog post I read, but I cannot not (wow, follow that?) show you this amazing installation from Eva Black. I love that she used all kinds of already owned/recycled paper. I love the varying colors each one contributes. I love the texture she created by her folds. All in all, an amazing piece - I'm inspired to pull out some paper of my own and brush up on my lost origami skills...

All images from Eva Black Design


Let's get Out!

It's been an incredibly mild winter in DC, and after the torrential downpour of yesterday morning, skies are looking blue and I think it's supposed to just keep getting nicer over the next few days (like low 60s by Thursday, what?!). So I'm off to spend some time outside - walking north to Busboys and Poets to meet Robin and Dave for lunch, then might mosey around the Mall? I am happy to soak up some much needed Vitamin D. :-)

Have a lovely weekend!! 

Photograph by Vanessa Paxton, found here.


Ready, Set, Go

This post is mostly for myself. I've maybe been enjoying being a total lazy bum a bit too much. I.e. staying in some version of sweats or pj's, drinking coffee for far too long (wish mine were as cute as hers). The weather hasn't helped much - it's been cold and rainy/snowy off and on for the last week. But I need to realize we have a while longer of that, so it's not really an excuse (although not seeing the sun for the entire day is seriously depressing, I don't know how the Pacific Northwest does it).

And this is especially fitting for me - at least until I learn how to profit from doing it...

I haven't been entirely terrible. I did go on an interview last week, saw the Crough renovation presentations, even have been working out daily. But, today starts a side job a few other students and I are doing, and in February I'm going to start working on a competition for a new library in Helsinki (oh to go back!!), but that means things are going to start getting busy, and I need to make sure my own stuff is in order (hello portfolio) so that I can start making some life plans. 

And on that note, I'm off to run at the Mall (U.S, not shopping), as I think today's the last rain-free day we'll have in DC for a while. Then heading up to Georgetown later to start measuring a house. 

Images via here and here.


In My Next Place

I want to host dinner parties with champagne flutes and fancy cocktails. Oh and the guests can sit on these amazing chairs! A girl can dream...


The Joy of Books

Found this YouTube video this morning on Colossal and had to share.  From my brief stint with creating time lapses, I can tell you it was an extraordinary amount of work to put this together, but the result is SO RAD.


New Neighborhood

I flew back in to DC yesterday and spent the night at my new place (well, Eric's place, but mine for the next few months). I was welcomed by his two cats, Zoe and Ibi, unpacked my bags, and then realized I had no clue what to do about dinner as I'm now in an entirely new neighborhood of DC (for reference, the green pin is Eddie's house, red is CUA, and the purple one is where I'll be through April). So yes, almost the complete opposite side of the city, and I must admit, I still don't know my way around Eddie's as much as I should. So, in the next few days, in addition to starting to pack/move across town, I'm hoping to wander through my new neighborhood a bit. I do know I'm really close to the Fish Market that's on the waterfront, so it looks like it will be a winter/spring of learning to cook some deliciously fresh seafood. Stay tuned.


LA Scene - Pacific Standard Time

My last few days in California, and I totally lucked out - amazing weather (seriously, 80 degrees in January?!) and a trip up to Los Angeles to check out some new furniture stores and take in Pacific Standard Time. Hands down my favorite exhibits were at LACMA and the Getty.  We hit up LACMA first, and I could not believe I actually had not been there since I lived in the area about 6 years ago - the renovations/new buildings have entirely changed LACMA.  
Urban Light installation at LACMA
The exhibit at LACMA - California Design: 1930 - 1965 - had some great furniture, including this groovy coffee table (I'm still searching for inspiration for my own) from Milo Baughman that includes a planter (so Cali ;-)).  I forgot the maker, but I also really liked the rope lounge chairs - perfect for an 80 degree lounging-by-the-pool type day.

But my favorite had to be the Eames installation.  Of course, you weren't allowed to take pictures, so this was my best "sneak" of their exhibit.  The Case Study House No. 8 was recreated at LACMA, and they had meticulously arranged everything inside the same way Charles and Ray had it (furniture, books, plants).  Pretty amazing.

Then yesterday we hit up the West Side, and headed over to the Getty.  Again, the Pacific Standard Time exhibits were great (some really cool resin sculpture that originated in California - I think around the time surf boards were just starting to be made that way).  But with such a perfect day, I think the best views were from outside the Getty.  

Alright, I better go enjoy my last day of nice weather before hopping on a plane headed back to DC tomorrow!


LA Bound

And what better way to end my trip to California than by spending the last few days of it up in Los Angeles? I am so excited to head up there in a little bit.  Today is going to be a marathon-girl-fest with Sara.  We have about 6 months of catching up to do! And tomorrow and Friday my parents and I are going to immerse ourselves in furniture, art + design: LACMA, MOMA, the Geffen, Getty, and some new (to us) furniture stores on La Brea and Beverly Blvd.  I have a feeling it is going to be exhausting squeezing in all of this culture, but I'm excited I get to see as much as I can - definitely inspiration for my future move back to the West Coast.  And I'm going to bring my Hasselblad, so hopefully will snap some cool pics as well!

Image from Steven Monteau's photostream


(Too Much) Reflection and A New Year

This morning I reread my January 2nd entry from last year, and it made me realize what a big year I had in 2011. While part of me thinks it wasn't such a great year (the amount of grief alone I get from my CUA friends for having turned thirty...), I appreciated that I did not just write up a list of resolutions (that I'm sure would have been broken by February anyways), but a list of goals/plans I had for the year. And even though some of them were inevitable, it was still awesome to reread that list and realize what I had undertaken for 2011. 

I still can't believe I had the opportunity to go to Nepal. An amazingly eye-opening experience, one of which I will carry in my heart always (and if anyone ever needs a stacked stone wall for their backyard, I'm your gal).
Our daily view from the top of our site.
I was also able to spend most of the summer in California - which I hadn't done in a few years. It definitely made me appreciate being home. I even lived with my brother for a little bit while trying to select a site for my thesis.  Living two blocks from the beach isn't so bad...

I got conned into participating in an inter-school charette at the Building Museum. I thought it was going to be one day - it turned into a no-sleep crazy weekend of work which I didn't actually have time for, but to my group's total surprise, we won! It was very unexpected, but also felt great, like maybe I'm not so bad at this design stuff...


I also carved out some time for a trip up to Fallingwater - I had told myself I couldn't graduate and not have made the drive in the Fall to see this FLW building. My friend Ryan and I picked a great weekend to go - it was an amazingly crisp and colorful Sunday, we got on the road early enough to see the sunrise, and both of us were incredibly inspired by the architecture. Minus the car accident I got in in the parking lot, it was a perfect day.

And last but not least... I presented my thesis. I think that's why it may be hard to see 2011 on a positive note - thesis was an incredibly tough undertaking. But at the very least, I made it to the other side, and am happy to say it's over (minus my paper I still need to resubmit...). I think I learned a lot through the process - for me, it's really about the people and their experience in a building that comes first and foremost. I experimented with new collage techniques (thank you UTK experience) and ways of modeling. Some were successful, some were not (I will never be a paper mache expert), but I was constantly trying new things, which to me was really fun in it of itself. Anyways, I still want to post a thesis summary at some point, so this is enough for now.

This smile must be from after the presentation... 
So now some thoughts for 2012...
1. I am living in DC through the spring, and then THAT'S IT, I'm heading back to California.  I want to take advantage of it while I'm there - explore the places I haven't yet - in DC and nearby, hopefully get some type of part-time/contract job to save some money for my move, use CUA resources to my fullest advantage (i.e. make a ton of the work sample envelopes I designed on the laser cutters and finally make a piece of furniture in the shop).  Basically enjoy being a bum, but still be a productive bum.
2. Waking up January 1 in Los Angeles just felt right.  While I was so excited to get away a few years ago, I am even more excited now to realize I do feel like L.A. is home. It helps that some of my best girl friends are there, too - cannot wait to be living in close proximity again. So yes, this is my goal - find a job back in L.A. and get settled.  No more coast flopping, I'm excited to go home.  
3. Keep creativity high on my priority list. Even in my short time home, it's been weird not having a project. Whether it be big or small, I really enjoy being in the midst of something. I need to make sure I make the time for this - it's something I really enjoy. The coffee table project will be good, but I'm also thinking of making a goal to myself to enter at least one competition this year. Kay and I have been saying we'll do something together since our first year of grad school, so hopefully this will finally be the year we actually do it.

Wow this is way too long.  But I'm excited for this next year ahead. I predict some big changes and am excited to see what unfolds. Happy New Year, wish everyone lots of love and a great year ahead.