It’s springtime in Southern California (if you ignore the two 100+ degrees days we had this week), and I’ve been enjoying it immensely with:
-A $1 Milan Kundera book at our local bookstore
-citrus picked right from backyard trees
-container gardening on my balcony—tiny strawberries are already being harvested and the tomato plants are getting enormous
-fresh salmon baked with lemon, garlic and white wine
-Mexican cokes (they’re still made with real cane sugar and come in glass bottles, the old fashioned way)
-And, of course, thrifting
My weekend will be apartment spring cleaning and curtain hanging, a long bike ride and two slow mornings. Enjoy yours!
I thrifted the coolest books the other day. The first is a 1959 edition of the National Geographic Society’s book on the National Parks. It’s got rad old-school images of mid century American family leisure, including the iconic image of the Yellowstone begging bear. I debated keeping it but I’d rather someone else enjoy it. Apparently, it’s a rare find. You can check it out on my Etsy, if you’re interested.
Th other is an oversized book of aerial photographs of Los Angeles taken in the 1970s, with awesome images of the coast, the Watts Towers and sky-views of west-side neighborhoods like Beverly Hills. It’s for sale, too.
When Christian and I can get our -ish together on a Saturday morning, we go garage sale hunting. We map out our route the night before (his idea) and get Starbucks in the morning (my idea). This past Saturday we hit up a few in the Pasadena area. He scored a Heywood Wakefield coffee table, a practically untouched specimen found at an estate sale for a retired Occidental professor (estate sales are so weird). I found a Danish rocking chair(!), a tiny vintage task lamp that folds into itself, kind of like it’s giving itself a hug, or crawling into the fetal position–but in a cute way! I also found this fantastic acrylic light fixture for my kitchen to replace the terrible, awful, stupid light fixture that my rental came with, which, Fun Fact!, is the same fixture inside Walter White’s dining room:
(I picked the most intense scene to show you that.)
The left is my kitchen when I moved in, as captured by my iPhone. I thought it only right to capture the after photo with my iPhone too, so as not to rig the comparison. :)
I picked up the vintage acrylic light fixture for $3! Three bucks! Christian suggested I buy an 8″ frosted globe to help diffuse the light (about $7) and then he helpfully changed out the fixtures for me. I love it! And him!
Let this post serve as encouragement to all you renting tenants out there: with just a bit of money and the ability to do some things (or the ability to snag a man who can), your apartment can look like you want it to. And don’t worry–I kept the old (stupid) light fixture. Impermanent tenant improvement is where it’s at!
We’re currently brainstorming what to do about the lame, nipple-shaped light fixture on the far side of the kitchen. Maybe one of Daniel Kanter’s DIY hanging lights!
Never mind the misplaced ceramic lamp in the foreground of the after picture. Apparently lamps are my new rugs—I can’t stop buying them and I’m running out of places to put them. A lamp on my bar-cart means it’s really gotten out of hand. Where’s the whisky supposed to go?? Also, that box contains my new garbage disposal, which is going in tonight!!!!!!!
More Tenant Improvements: painting my kitchen black.
The ever-creative Shannon needed a second eye for a March wedding in Redondo Beach and I happily obliged. Being the second-eye is always a fun challenge—trying to find unique angles, while also getting to focus on the smaller moments, the things happening off to the side, the silly stuff.
This gorgeous couple married at the Portfino Hotel and Marina in Redondo Beach, a gorgeous little venue, right along the water, with sailboats sailing by. A perfect Southern California wedding.
I recently discovered the gorgeous Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn (below) from the monthly online magazine put out by 1stdibs, only to also discover the creative trio behind the perfectly curated interiors of the Wythe. Introducing my current Internet Crush: Workstead.
The feature on Workstead by 1stdibs is well worth the read. It showcases Workstead’s work on the Wythe, as well as the trio’s design philosophy. I resonate with Workstead’s design aesthetic as well as their approach. They describe an “allergy” to what they call “fake vintage”, the current trend of making interiors look old for the sake of looking old. Instead, Brechbrueler, Highsmith and Mahoney, the trio behind Workstead, “appreciate the contrast between old and new”. They utilize time-tested, quality vintage pieces in new, modern, clean looking spaces. I dig.
In addition to the Wythe, Workstead has done some gorgeous interior design work for a salon (left) and for private homes (right–check out that custom cabinet handles!), as well as designs and makes unique lighting elements. This diversification of their craft is the reason Workstead has been able to be choosy about the types of projects they accept. Working hard so you can do the kind of work you want. I like that.
I’ve admired the photography of Cindy Loughridge since my college days when she was just “*Cinnamon from Flickr” to me. She has a distinct, classic, lovely style that’s only gotten better and better over the years. She recently blogged about the importance of “personal work”—photographing things in your daily life and routines, rather than settling into the habit of only pulling out your camera for a gig—taking time, instead, to see the light and work with it every day, even if just for a moment.
So, I’m working to be more diligent about shooting “personal work”. My sister and Emerson are in California for a few days and today we went to the park at the Rose Bowl. I toted my “big camera” along with me and I’m glad I did. I got to capture tiny moments, hone my craft and feel attune to every piece of light and every single movement, even if just for a little while.
Things have been crazy over here lately. Between the full-time job, booking weddings, a last-minute (fun!) visit from my mom and the web-design class I’m taking at the Art Center College of Design (have I mentioned that?), I’ve hardly had any time to post on the blog. But somehow I managed to find the time to browse the entire Spring 2013 collection from Steven Alan. :) Aren’t those tops darling?
My friends at Long Winter Media screened their first short film in January and I had the priviledge of photographing the event. The film was largely funded by a Kickstarter campaign so it was a packed house of “backers” as well as film cast and crew, friends and family. Mary Lee Catering provided the eats, Aaron Burch provided the music and two gracious souls from Roark Wine Company drove down from San Luis Obispo to serve up their wine. You can learn more about the film, which was recently accepted into the Omaha Film Festival, here, on the Long Winter site.
Hello. I'm Janna.
Past subjects include the former President of Mexico Vicente Fox (photography) and the morally relativistic, postmodern appeal of HBO's GIRLS to my generation (writing).
My favorite interests include interior styling and photography, graphic design, web design and selling vintage goods.
I moved to California in 2009 and earned a Master of Arts in Theology. I haven't quiet figured out what to do with that yet.
I'm still living in Southern California, now with a dog, in an apartment full of things I thrifted.
You can always say hi if you want.
Oh, and this is my blog.