I'm making a lot of progress on the barn conversion project. I promise! I've had a healthy creative outburst to start the year. Making lots of new musical friends has been a grand inspiration. I wish you could all live in the barn!
That's my nom du jour. This is the fun part, getting to put together different looks for Marcel in his blossoming career. We had a magazine crew come by the other day (details to follow) and I did some test shots of Marcello in his outfit.
He's wearing a vintage CBGB's t-shirt and a 1940s fedora that I've had for about 30 years. It's embellished with a black silk fragment from a 1920s gown. The pattern is leaves embroidered with silver and blue silk thread and flowers formed with teal and orange grosgrain ribbon. The skull wrist strap was custom made by a friend (details by request).
Because this is supposed to be an interior design blog also - ! - I'll throw in a photo from my barn kitchen shelves...
My son Marcel receives press credentials to cover various music events in the Bay Area. One recent event was the C2SV Festival in San Jose. For one of the highlights click HERE. Another wondrous highlight was an impromptu private performance for Marcel by the group Onward, Etc. when they learned that he had missed their show. They're an incredibly endearing group of guys, and so truly talented.
As this wasn't planned, and I just happened to walk in the room the moment they began playing, I was lucky I got my camera out of the bag in time. Their new album is titled Old Soul. Indeed.
So, back to the barn conversion project. Here are some snippets of the progress...chugging to completion...soon! Here are some vignettes, still in process (click on photos for larger view):
I've been saving a collection of handmade papers that my friend Scott Waterman gave me for my birthday about 4 years ago, waiting for them to speak to me, to tell me what they wanted to be used for. At last they said, "Light me up!", so I made a custom lampshade with them. I call it Judah Street:
Drifferent from every angle:
I like seeing the wrinkles in the paper. Makes it feel singular:
...means work. I thought there'd be some consolation by having a belated cannoli at my favorite bakery but the baker called in sick. Waaah! Some years are like this. The good news is that the barn is shaping up nicely. Some details of the dining hall, still in progress:
Wall and ceiling 'Downtown' (Ben. Moore, Color Stories series). I did a custom mix on it. Makes me think of whipped cream with some cocoa powder added to it:
This is a Hollywood Regency clock that I found at an abandoned orchard. It's a grand three feet across:
Office space (kitchen beyond):
(Click on any photo to enlarge)
Still getting organized:
Blue wall 'Cableknit Sweater' (Ben. Moore's Color Stories series). I'll get a more accurate take on it for the final shoot. It's more teal, richer:
Since returning from life in Italy I have taken on a big project: convereting a barn to a house...while living in it! It didn't seem like such a bad idea when we moved in in the summertime, but now that the cold and damp is here (we're in the redwoods) I realize just how difficult it is to do simple things, like painting the rooms. The temperature is so low in this barn that the paint takes ages to dry. Just the same it's been a fun creative process, taking an empty shell and getting to decide which part will be the kitchen, which will be the bedrooms and so on. It reminds me so much of building forts in the yard when I was little, making something out of what's at hand: salvage, found objects and hand-me-downs.
My bedroom area was just sort of thrown together when we moved in and I put most of my effort into making the kitchen and office functional. Yesterday while I was having my morning coffee it occurred to me that part of the reason I was feeling so cold in here is that most of the walls are white. That can work in a space filled with sun and natural light. This place is not. I stared at the wall behind my bed trying to decide what color I'd like it to be. I decided that even though it's too cold to paint right now I desperately needed to warm-up that sleeping 'nook' temporarily.
Wooden boxes from Florence, India & Greece; 1940s handpainted silk lampshade:
On the bed: vintage India print spread & vintage chinoiserie pillow; on the wall: 1920s silk brocade spread & my original embroidery art:
Why is it taking me forever to sell amazing things at amazing prices on Craig's List these days? Is it the economy or is it that Santa Cruz has never really embraced great design? My usual customers were 95% of the time from San Francisco but now that I live further afield things have stalled. How will I ever move with all of this stuff??? My mate Dave in London has one word for me: charity. "Ah Dave. Do I have to?"
A signed Campuzano original (he's a turn-of the-to mid-century artist from Bilbao, Spain for goodness sake!!):
Okay, someone needs to come with a big truck and just back it up to my house. Preferrably someone who wants to open a shop! It's all here. Everything you need to go into business...except for the customers! Help!
I just have to share a great thrift find. Lately I've been keeping my eyes peeled for vintage stereo equipment. The kind with soul, usually encased in teak cabinets and weighing about ten times as much as the new stuff. At an auction I picked up a mid century Pioneer tape deck in its original box...!!!... for $3.
I love the way the deck is designed so that the tape cassette is reclining in its little window.
My latest find are a pair of Harmon Kardon speakers found at the Goodwill that I took a gamble on for $12...!!! It paid off. They are the big sound I've been longong for ever since I traded in my major-ly grand floor speakers some years ago for a pair of bookshelf speakers. Oh the regret. But I have been happily redeemed. Oh how that bass rumbles across the floor!
I was listening to Beirut's song Nantes yesterday. Wow, they really do have a lot of instruments. I could hear them all!
These speakers are really a piece of furniture. I love the knubby linen fabric that dresses them (is this photo too dark?):
Okay. I talked myself into it. Time to go cut a rug!