Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tragic Magic Vintage

Lots of new items up at my shop, Tragic Magic Vintage.  Also- there's lots of markdowns, as well. Take a gander at the goodness.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

White Peacocks

This weekend I went in search of the elusive white peacock.  It's like they shouldn't even exist in real life, only drawn in little girl's sketchbooks or in drippy fantasy movies.  I thought I remembered reading that there were some at the L.A. Arboretum in Arcadia, so off we went.  I was getting over a killer cold, it was 100 gd degrees, and they had West Nile Virus warnings all over the place, but we stuck it out and spent a good two hours wandering around the place.  We saw a lot of cool things, but we did not see this:
 There were a lot of regular peacocks, though.  Just walking around, being average.  In fact, there's no shortage of peacocks in the city of Arcadia- it's the official bird and it's part of their logo.  They just cruise down the streets- in fact, they legally have the right of way.  The land that the Arboretum is on was originally owned by Lucky Baldwin, a wealthy businessman who brought back peacocks from a trip to India.  Hundreds of them lived on his land, caught snakes, and acted as noisy guard dogs, crying out when intruders approached.  So, that's how the whole peacock thing happened in Arcadia.  Aside from the whole no white peacocks- the Arboretum was beautiful.  They have waterfalls, gardens, greenhouses, grand old buildings and stables, AND outdoor movie nights.  Soon I can check off "Watch a movie with a peacock" from my list of goals.  Here's a few pics of the gardens and Lucky Baldwin's cottage- which was the building in the opening scenes of Fantasy Island, just FYI:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hi There

I've been a little non-bloggy lately because I've been busy working on a few exciting projects.  In the meantime- here's a few things that have happened this week...

* I house/dog sat for Jeremy's parents this weekend.  Within 2 minutes of getting there, I managed to lock myself out of the house.  It's a small, nosy, mostly well-intentioned town so, I was pretty sure someone was going to call the cops on me as I tried to open every window, door, and garage at the place.  I ended up hopping the fence and crawling in through the window which, kinda made me feel like I was in high school again.  Once inside, I couldn't help but take a few pics of Jeremy's little-guy pictures because I think they are the cutest things I've ever seen.  



* I attended my great aunt and uncle's 60th wedding anniversary and commitment renewal.  Pretty sweet.  I somehow managed not to cry (read: pinching my hand under the table) when their 7-year-old granddaughter sang Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific for them because they went to see it on their first date.

* Last night, Jeremy and I went to see Searching for Sugar Man.  Highly recommended, but what stayed with me was actually what happened in the bathroom before the movie.  I walked into the restroom and there was a little old lady standing in front of the mirror, pants around her knees, looking at her bare butt.  When she noticed me she quickly ran down the aisle, butt still exposed, pants still harnessing her knees, and went into a stall that she was sharing with, what sounded to be another little old lady.  They just stayed in there giggling.  WHAT WAS GOING ON?  What sort of hijinks were these two up to?  Are they flashers?  Were they having, as my pal Callie puts it, "a compare party?"  I don't know, but I can't really begrudge a couple of little old ladies' night out on the town. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Cursive Celebration


In Second - maybe Third- grade, my class had to write in a journal every day and it had to be in cursive.  The teacher would read them, so there was no getting out of it.  I still have a few of mine; in one, I rat out the girl who sat next to me for probably, most likely, though I had no proof, stealing my gummy eraser.  In another, I dramatically write about a doctor's visit in whence he tells me that I have, "symptoms," and I wonder, could a kid ever die from this disease called, "symptoms," and should I even have to be be going to school anymore?  In all of them, my cursive is a disaster.  If you held the pages out at an arms length, they would best depict, not words but an abstract pencil drawing of many sheep in motion.  Deciphering it is a challenge, like uncovering an ancient script.  Which, coincidentally, seems to be the road that cursive is headed down these days.  I was reading an article about how schools across America aren't teaching cursive anymore.  While I get it, I'm still a nostalgic person and it gave me a slight case of the sads.  So, in honor of 2nd grade journals everywhere, how about a little cursive celebration?
Verkitschen

Diament Designs

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Forestiere Underground Gardens and Route 99

Awhile ago, I read an article in the paper about the lesser traveled Route 99 which runs through California's central valley.  This article made the 99 sound like a nonstop crazy party with wacky roadside attractions around every corner and towns that were untouched since the 60s.  Well...it wasn't like "Route 66 turned upside down," it was more like, kinda-more-interesting-than-the-5.  HOWEVER, the destination was the Forestiere Underground Gardens in Fresno and it was, by far, one of the coolest places I've visited.

So, the story goes, Baldassare Forestiere was living in Italy and his father wouldn't let him take over the family's citrus farming business because he wasn't the first born.  So Baldassare buys all this land in Fresno, CA-sight unseen-to start his own orchards.  In 1901 he travels to America and finds that the land he bought has a thick layer of hard pan soil, making it impossible to plant his orchards.  SADS.  So he's stuck out there in the brutal central valley summer with nothing but acres of unusable soil.  He digs an underground cellar and all his neighbors come hangout down there to catch a break from the blazing heat.  And then he keeps digging(using only hand tools) and creates grottos, chapels, living quarters, and garden courts all underground.  And this is not just one layer of underground living, he excavated three stories underground full of different tunnels and rooms, with the hopes of one day turning it into a hotel.  If this sounds dark and dreary to you, it's quite the opposite.  Because of all the large skylights he created, the place is filled with sunlight.  SO, now that he has sunlight and has dug under the layers of hard pan, he goes about planting his fruit trees below the skylights.  Because these underground gardens are three stories deep, he could plant a tree on the first level, trim the branches on the second, and pick the fruit from the third.  Over one-hundred-years later, these trees are still thriving and producing plenty of produce.
So now he has his whole living arrangement set up down there, he creates a summertime bedroom, designed to stay cool, a wintertime bedroom to stay warm, a kitchen with a stove, an incredible bathroom, wells for water, fireplaces, and he digs a little lake down there and fills it with fish so he can catch his own meals.  One of my favorite parts was a dining room on the second floor that had a skylight cut above the table and fitted with glass and his plan was to make a little pond above it and fill it with tropical fish so there'd be an aquarium over the diner's heads.  He also had plans to build a tunnel under a lake on the property that exited on an island in the middle of the lake.  He had a lot of plans; he was building for over 40 years (until his final days) and created at least 10 acres of underground living.  As he created very few blueprints, the extent of these underground tunnels and rooms are unknown.
After his death in 1946, his land was parceled off to 4 remaining relatives.  Only one parcel is open to viewing and, according to the tour guide, the other family members have either sold off their property or are in the process of selling it and have no interest in maintaining it as Baldassare had envisioned it.  So, basically, there could be plenty more acres of his underground creations but it's private property so we'll never know. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th

Though this happened back in April, it seems fitting to post it today.  And, if you're in LA and you haven't seen the Cai Guo-Qiang exhibit at MOCA yet- there's still time!