The Porch Ceiling Part 1

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


My latest project:

I needed to strip the paint from my porch boards (don't ask why), the tongue-and-groove beadboard that comprises the porch ceiling. I opted to remove the boards, rather than work, arms over head, heat gun a-blazin', showered by scrapings of shriveled paint.

The cavernous aperture permitted a few improvements. I installed a new header (the engineered wood product shown), ledger, and joists--2 X 6's (the span is a mere seven feet). The joists formed a pocket for insulation, and I laid 3/4 plywood on top.

Now I've reinstalled the paint-free bead board and I'm preparing to stain. I also used the opportunity to hoist plywood into the attic.

The 10th Wonder of the World

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


The sign says it all. A front yard art project, part folk genius, part busybody construction, part badass mysticism.

Lew, a former truck driver, began the ever-evolving installation in 1982, aided by his sister Dianne. Surf-board sized chunks of acrylic encircle mountains of metal painted black and race car red. A zebra surveys all.

The Harris's are friendly, go take a look, and drop a quarter in their donations tube:
1145 W. 62nd St.
(Two blocks West of Vermont)

Mantlepiece transformation etc.


Hello dear blogging friends,

today I can show you the transformation of my faux mantlepiece, which my Dad has build me for one of my birthdays, 7 years ago.

This is what it looked like just before I've painted it on Friday:

I was thinking about painting it ever since I've got it and now I finally did it and I like it, yeah! What do you think about it in white? Should I paint the little black antique petrol oven also in white now?

Then yesterday, for my 44th birthday, my parents have got me a new mirror for the space above my mantlepiece, because the mirror I've used before was too small. I chose a high mirror, carved out of wood with an antique golden painting and this is what my mantlepiece looks like after it is freshly painted, decorated and with the new mirror hanging above:

The mirror has a lovely detail, it's an angel playing the flute, carved in:

Well and this is the round bird nest collage, that I was talking about in one of my posts below, which I had created the weekend before last weekend:

A big thanks to you guys for all the lovely comments on my Winter garden pictures of my last post, which I loved to read. The bit of snow is all gone and we're back to warmer temperatures again, around 7-10 degrees Celsius plus, which seem to be the normal Winter temperature this year.

My mum has got me lots of lovely spring flowers yesterday too, like Snowbells, blue Pansies, white Primeroses and white Helleborus and blue Hyacinthus, which I'm looking forward to plant and decorate during this week :D

Things I Found in January

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I'm pretty choosy about what I pick up, but I suppose that's laughable because most people would never deign to salvage discarded building materials or consumer items.

Wool Meroni sweater (found along Frederick Street in San Francisco)

Typically I come onto things driving to and fro. In those moments, the internal monologue sounds something like this: where am I going, do I have an extra second, am I wearing clothes that can be machine washed?

Two leaded glass transoms (found near 51st St. and Main)

Sometimes like The Pile, it's a gut check. Might it depress me? More vintage house parts, bound for Sunshine Canyon or Palmdale, the wealth of a small nation heaped atop clay liners and polythylene sheeting.

New York Times Magazine from 1994, with story by H.D. Bissinger entitled, When Whites Flee (Allston & King, Berkeley)

Recycling, sure it's good. I especially like to see the recojedores piling curb-side metal onto their over-burdened flat-beds, hot water heaters cresting sidewalls, like torpedos shorn from a mothballed sub.

Kitchen grain bins (2nd Avenue near Jefferson)

In wealthy neighborhoods, like Hancock Park, the front and side yard is never used as a dumping ground, nor are items left along the parkway or curb. RV-sized dumpsters, the high status alternative, checker the landscape, hunkered down beneath porte cocheres, invading long, divided driveways.

Those darn rich people. They won't even let me get after their trash.

Classified Ads

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Real Estate Classifieds from March 16, 1907

Found behind a mirror by serial restorer Roland Souza. Hours of reading fun.

Note the next ad, which requests a third ($1700) down.

The Alligator Store? See, I told you these were fun!

Nothing is what it seems

Thursday, January 25, 2007


From the moment we enter this live we are in the flow of it. We measure it and We mock it, but we cannot defy it. We cannot even speed it up or slow it down. Or can we? Have we not each experienced the sensation that a beautiful moment seemed to pass to quickly, and wished that we could make it linger? Or felt time slow on a dull day, and wished that we could speed things up a bit?
- Eisenham, The Illusionist (2006)
What is reality and what is illusion? Something which seems to be an illusion is actually a mirror of the real. Illusion can also be described as forced reality. Something which may not actually be there but which the mind is forced to see. Maybe I am not making much sense. I guess this could be attributed to the fact that I just watched the movie the Edward Norton starrer "The Illusionist". A movie which is based on a simple premise
Everything you have seen here has been an illusion

Winter impressions


I haven't posted pictures from my garden for a while now so today I thought you might like to see some winter impressions. Yes we've finally got winter over here too, we have frost since Monday and today we've even got a tiny bid of the white stuff, as you can see in some of today's photos:

A frosty heart:

A frosty enamel cake:

My patio with the bird houses and lanterns etc. is always a quite nice sight:

My garden princess covered with a touch of snow:

Plants are covered with moss to keep them warm:

I love the look of it, when my garden balls are covered with snow and/or frost:

The frosty lantern kind of glows in the morning light:

I hope that you've liked to see a few garden pictures for a change.

Nostalgic Heart Swap!

Sunday, January 21, 2007


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Click on the link for the bigger version of the photo above!
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.My German garden friend Anita owner of the beautiful blog "My Country Cottage" is searching for participants for her "Selfmade Nostalgic Heart Swap"! This sounds like so much fun and everyone who ownes a blog can participate! I'll sure do! I have already tried my first nostalgic heart collage which you can see in the pictures above and below:
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Click on the link to see the bigger version of the picture above!
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Selfmade hearts made from fabric are as welcome as paper hearts, what ever suits your creativity, so don't hesitate, head over to Anita's blog and read her post from January 18th for more information and let her know that you'd like to participate! I'm looking forward to swap with you!
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Yesterday I've also finished this "Valentines paper girl":

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and a round Bird & Nest collage which I'm going to show you in my next post because Blogger won't let me post anymore pictures tonight. I'm quite happy that I had time to spend in my studio corner for the last two days, don't you just love creative weekends too?

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2171 W. 24th Street, Historic West Adams (90018)


I'm holding my first 2007 open, Tuesday, at 2171 W. 24th Street, from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm.

Kinney Heights Craftsman
3 bedrooms 1.5 baths 1,773 square feet

Wrapped in nurturing green foliage, outlined by broad, elegant woodwork and lovingly-rendered period-faithful details, this Kinney Heights Craftsman evokes a treehouse-like sense of intimacy, seclusion, and serenity.

Located on one of West Adams's most sought-after blocks, this surprisingly spacious two-story treasure with its easy 10 freeway access is ideally situated between the Westside sparkle and the dynamic Downtown.

Bullet points:
*Oak and fir floors
*Wood burning fireplace
*Located in West Adams Terrace HPOZ
*Built in 1904
*Vintage light fixtures
*7,500 square foot lot
*Mature landscaping with outdoor entertaining areas

Offered at $695,000

The Ugliest Residential Block in Los Angeles?

Saturday, January 20, 2007


One More Billboard Rant

The billboards pictured are the smaller poster panels, or "junior" panels. Although these signs are located on private property, they clearly derive their use--or value--from road traffic. (Otherwise, let them be oriented away from the commons!) They benefit from the investment society has made in roads. (To be clear, these signs are not advertising services or goods sold on-site.)

Does this not constitute a franchise on the public right-of-way?!

These images were captured on the 5800 block of San Pedro (South of Gage). A block of mostly single-story houses, dispicably checkered with off-premise outdoor advertising signs. The signs crane, giraffe-like, over preposterously high fencing and yards of barren soil, smelter waste, battery casings, and burnt clover.

An effort by landowners to maximize diminished economic abilities, a parasitical social practice, or another example of contested space in the urban landscape?

Or all of the above?

New in Jefferson Park

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Heads up bungalow-buffs, I've listed an Arts & Crafts spectacular, on one of Jefferson Park's best blocks. Built in 1911, the house features never-painted woodwork, and original built-ins in five rooms! Additionally, it claims a new central heating system (with A/C!), a largely updated/re-wired electrical system, an abundant garage, and a working fireplace.

I anticipate the pricing to be in the mid $500's ($550-$570K).

If anyone knows a worthy, architecture-friendly buyer, contact me ASAP. A sign is going up today, outside marketing will follow, and I'll enter it into the multiples in two weeks.

More on this listing to come.....

The lovely hearts exhibition

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I've told you in my last post, that I was creating pieces for Valentine last week. Well actually I'm excited to tell you that I've created them for the "Lovely hearts charity exhibition" of artstreamstudios. Susan the owner of and of is looking for artists from around the globe to submit their art work about the theme LOVE, in all it's forms, for presentation in the gallery of artstream studios in February 2007. 50% of the retail price of each artwork sold will support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The other 50% goes directly back to the artists.

I've chosen the altered Love CD above as well as the two following collages as my submisson:

In the photo below you can see the other side of the Altered Love CD. The Altered Star CD is not part of the pieces for the exhibition:

The exhibiton in the Gallery of "Valentines Around The World" opens with a presentation complete with Cocktails and Chocolate on February 10th.Artwork will also be available in the Online Shop from February 10th through February 28th. Click here for more information:

I've first read about Susan's charity exhibition on my pink friend Sandy's lovely art blog over at .

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