Wednesday, March 28, 2012

alligator tales... part two

it's been a great week interning!  the designer that always seems to give me the most challenging tasks, bringing me WAY out of my comfort zone, did not disappoint... my big project was to create a custom wallpaper pattern using a piece of art (a painting) that had a mixture of many abstract shapes and colors as inspiration.  boy, it was tricky to get my head around!  while i have spent hours painting a wallpaper design on my bedroom wall, i have never created a whole new pattern on my own.  and one that had to be able to repeat seamlessly covering walls in a room.  so, the great thing is that the designer loved the end result!!! and after the 9 (yes, 9) hours i spent on it i was so happy to have gotten that praise (and let me tell you, this designer doesn't usually give praise unless he means it)!  and how cool that i now know how to do it for one of my own clients someday!
so, if you have been reading along for a while you know i tend to gush a bit about the gals in my metalsmithing class and how in awe of their talents i am... and a while back you may remember my mentioning my lovely british friend juliette from my metalsmithing class...  the gal with the alligator skin... well, she was able to create some amazing pieces with it!  all in the midst of failing 3 consecutive american drivers tests.  poor juliette can't seem to get a break there!  yesterday she unfortunately ventured into the bicycle lane during her latest test and got an automatic fail...

 anyhow, she has mastered the art of tanning an alligator skin! and getting the nasty fishy smell out of it (apparently that is a feat!) and completed some amazing items using that skin as well as some inspired by it!  i have seen the real pieces in person and was dying to share these photos with you.  i think they are beautiful and hope to make stuff nearly as amazing someday!  so, perhaps you can all send lots of good vibes and well wishes her way as she is a bit down about that darn driving test...  i do have faith that she is going to pass that sucker the next time!  the gal can tan an alligator skin for goodness sake!! she can do anything in my opinion...
there are some other gals in my class creating really beautiful things too!  above is a fab brazilian druzy quartz and sterling silver ring by a very talented gal named sarah that has a little business she calls jewel's daughter's jewels  (a total tongue twister but such a lovely ode to her mom!) and she has an etsy store where you can check out even more of her goodies!

below is a fab 60's inspired necklace using vintage and new parts by my friend mary ann eissa who i have mentioned before.  she also has an etsy store filled with fab finds!  both are definitely worth a look-see and buy-see!
and what i love about all of these gals is that they too are in the midst of second acts in their lives!

so all three of these ladies (along with other super talented artisans!) will be showing and selling their fab wares at the barnsdall art park sale this sunday in LA from 11-4! so if you are in the area, you should totally check it out! oh and you can pop by the hollyhock house if in the mood to see some great frank lloyd wright architecture... just steps away from the sale!

for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the (formerly almost) 40 year old intern

Monday, March 26, 2012

motel mondays: part 16


happy monday everyone! for those of you that are new to my blog, mondays are my day to feature vintage motel signs i love.  it all started several months ago when my friend darin and i had the brilliant idea to create a collage of these images on the wall above his sofa (he loves retro signs as well).  we still haven't created the wall as darin hasn't chosen the pics he loves best.  i usually talk about other stuff on mondays but i like to start with a great motel... anyhow, so i happened upon today's motel when driving home from a friend's birthday party in downtown LA this past weekend. i skipped the freeway and took surface streets and so glad i did! the sign looked great lit in neon and i am so glad i drove back the next day for a better look!  the holiday lodge motel located on 3rd street just outside of downtown LA.  don't you love the burst of stars coming off the top?  and really the whole thing is pretty fab.
so, while in nyc for my today show appearance last week my friend laura and i visited my favorite home store, abc carpet & home.  if you have never been and happen to be in nyc you should check it out.  housed in a cool old building filled with floors and floors of the coolest stuff i have ever seen.  i especially love their rugs and lighting but really most everything is fab!  i can spend hours in that store & we did...  i was hobbling through the store.  yes, hobbling.  i was breaking in a new pair of ballet flats i purchased in rockefeller plaza right after the taping.  the heels i was wearing on the show were killing my feet (not suitable for long walks in the city) and i forgot to pack flats.  so i bought some that were comfortable in the 2 seconds i wore them in the store and then created blisters covering my feet over the next several hours.  oops. 
 so, back to abc home... sadly most of the merchandise is way out of this intern's budget but it is also really great for inspiration!  and boy was i inspired!  so, clearly the folks that run the store are just as inspired by pops of neon and fuchsia pink as i am these days.


these could be a fun and easy d.i.y.!!!

and can we talk about these amazing pendant lights???

love bubble lights!
 

i did get to rest my tootsies for a bit in the rug department looking at all of the fab madeline weinrib designs for one of my new clients.  you may remember that it was one such design that inspired my yellow geometric starburst painted rug... and the gal that runs that area of the store is just awesome and so helpful! you should pop in and say hello to fiona if you're there.  oh, and i learned that she also has had a few acts in life... architect turned mom turned abc home gal...

for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the (formerly almost) 40 year old intern

Thursday, March 22, 2012

my amazing day on today... i heart hoda kotb!

i am back from nyc!  my today show experience was pretty cool! and possibly the best 4 minutes i have had this year!!! and to everyone that sent supportive notes, THANK YOU, it was great to know you were rooting for me!!  and WELCOME to any of you that are just now finding my blog thanks to the show!
i met some really nice gals that were a part of my segment "life's second act: women show it's never too late."    laura vikmanis, billed as the oldest nfl cheerleader, happens to be from the same part of ohio as me! what a small world! and good for her for taking a chance and going for what she wanted and making it happen! and lisa schwartz, the goat cheese farmer gal, was really nice too.  and i have family that are farmers and that is some hard work!

outside the studios getting ready for my big moment!
i enlisted my ny based friend laura as my support that day.  she was there for me at the nate show too and was really awesome in helping me remain as calm and centered as i possibly could be.  while hanging out in the makeup room we were both amazed that famed makeup artist bobbi brown was in the chair next to me getting hers done by one of the gals.  and regular today show contributor, joy bauer, is teeny tiny in person! i felt like a big blond monster next to her!  and it was wild to be in the same green room as kirk cameron, someone whose posters i had on my bedroom walls (along with ricky schroeder and michael j. fox) as a pre-teen girl. who knew that 20 odd years later...
laura's view from behind the cameras
having hoda kotb, someone i really admire, tell me that i am an inspiration, was pretty surreal.  and i have to say, she is honestly just as awesome and genuine in person as she seems on tv.  really!  and the positive energy that she gave to all of us before, during and after our segment was just great!  a bit of a bummer that kathie lee gifford was off this week but i have to say lee brice was a nice guy too! of course after filming the segment i had to gush and tell her how much i love her and also the fact that i have "leg envy" when i watch her on the show every morning.  i mean, come one, she is super fit and has great legs! perhaps someday i will be as lucky? i only wish i had just a few more minutes to chat with her but perhaps i'll be lucky enough to do so in the future...  if only to redecorate her and kathie lee's dressing rooms??

ok it is a smidge blurry but it is my only pic with hoda!
the show was such a whirlwind and really flew by! when i walked off the set my friend laura said to me with a smile "when you're single it's glaringly obvious...."  yep, i told the world i am single and finding myself.  the funny thing is, the night before i flew to nyc i had dinner with a friend and we were chatting about dating and hopefully looking young for our age and i said "what on earth am i thinking, going on national television and pronouncing to the world that i am 40?  is that going to limit the pool?"  my friend then pointed out the fact that the guys that we're dating wouldn't be watching tv at that time of day anyway because hopefully they have jobs... phew!  yeah, i don't lie about my age when asked but i don't normally advertise it over a loudspeaker either.
oh, and speaking of age... my dad called to compliment me on a job well done that night and added "your mom and i thought you looked younger than the other 40 year olds on the show."  well, that may be because i happened to be the only one of us who is actually 40.  laura, the cheerleader, is 43 and lisa, the goat cheese farmer, is in her 50's.  so, it's a good thing i didn't look older than i actually am.

i will say it was hard for me to watch myself again on tv.  i am my own worst critic and can barely stand hearing my voice on an answering machine.  but i am proud to say that i didn't flub the interview it up...  and if you want to watch my big moment again and again you can go here...

the second after i got home from the airport it was back to real life... i had to rush to my lighting class last night and then was interning all day today.  back to regularly scheduled blogging next week! and before i forget, sending a great big thank you to better after blog for showcasing my mod bubble pendant light diy!

for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the (formerly almost) 40 year old intern

how lovely is springtime in nyc looking?




Friday, March 16, 2012

TODAY is pretty fabulous!

i'd like to start this post with a simple request for you to please excuse what may seem to be an extreme overuse of exclamation points...
happy friday!  i am so excited to share my latest news with you! i can't help but pinch myself just thinking about it! so, i recently learned i am going to be a guest on the today show... yes, THE TODAY SHOW!!!  crazy cool, right??  i have been a huge fan of the show for ages (ever since the katie era!) and always start my day with them and i am so totally excited that they asked me to be a guest next week!
life constantly amazes me!  when i think back to that moment when i lost my job two years ago and felt so very lost and unsure of what my future held and desperately wanted to figure out what career would make me happy again, i would never have imagined this! not in a million years!!!

and it was only a little over a year ago when i wrote my very first blog post ever, that night before beginning my big adventure, about the seemingly daunting task of starting over in a whole new career path at almost 40 years old as an unpaid intern in a completely different field...  and continuing to my very first day on the job, working in a closet.. learning to check my ego at the door and take every single experience for the learning opportunity that it can be... getting out of my comfort zone... the moment i finally confessed to my grandmother that i was starting over in a new career, after hiding the fact that i was unemployed from her for over a year... the first time one of my do it yourself design projects was featured on a big design website and helped me gain confidence in my choice of starting over... continuing to create countless diy projects between classes and interning including painted rugs and pendant lights... coping with turning 40 ... and the excitement of  meeting nate berkus !! from last year's experiences, i already knew that i am so very lucky to have had the opportunity to take the time to start over and to finally feel like i am on the right path!

and now, in just a couple of days, i am going to meet two super groovy gals that i really admire... yep, kathie lee gifford & hoda kotb! gosh, i am walking on a cloud!  i can't believe i will get to meet them in person rather than watching from the treadmill! WOW! and i'm not gonna lie... if offered, i will most definitely partake in a morning glass of wine with the gals! and we can dish and gab and become lifelong friends! oh, and fingers crossed i will run into matt lauer so we can swap stories about adventures in bhutan!

so, check your local listings and tune in to your local NBC station on tuesday march 20th for the kathie lee & hoda hour of today! 

for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the (formerly almost) 40 year old intern

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

a lovely table makeover

so, i don't know about you all but i really love a great makeover. whether it is a person getting a new do and duds or a dusty old worn thing getting a spiffy new look.  i'm not picky! making stuff prettier than what it once was is always groovy in my book.  as a child i used to give people and things mental makeovers in my head all the time and i am still guilty of doing it now.

so, you may recognize the table at the top of this post.  look a smidge familiar?? well, that is the very cool wire based table that my friend darin and i picked up on our jaunt to our fave valley vintage shops several weeks back.  it needed a lot, and i am not kidding when i say A LOT, of love.  the bones were great and it was the exact size and shape we were looking for but it was full of rust and peeling paint.  well, it is amazing what a good scrub and a fresh coat of glossy white paint can do!  right?
just a reminder of the before...
 oh, and the top was a disaster when we got it. i emailed photos to friends asking for advice on the best way to clean a stone top.  because we thought it was real stone. of the travertine variety to be exact.  so, a friend of a friend offered to sand the top off for us at his stone shop . amazing, right???  we made the trek to visit this new friend only to find out that what we had was in fact NOT stone but plaster made to look like stone.  and yes, we might have clued into that if we were paying attention to how light that tabletop was!
stained with a travertine look
anyhoo.... our new friend offered us an amazing deal on making a new marble table top for us! we were so excited to take him up on it and i have to say it looks fabulous!  like a million bucks... although thankfully it didn't cost us a million bucks!  phew!

so, we got to poke around the cool stone shop (technically it's a stone fabrication facility and showroom but i think stone shop sounds so much cooler...).  the place responsible for making perhaps the most lovely white marble table top i have ever seen (above) is called delorenzo marble & tile .  being half italian, i of course love that it is run by some awesome italian guys! we got a little tour of their shop and saw some very cool machines that cut massive slabs into countertops, etc with a mean laser beam!
amethyst!
but my favorite find there was samples of these amazing slabs made from semi-precious stones... the budding jeweler in me was salivating over them.  and i am adding these puppies to my mental "someday" list... you know, for when i am no longer an unpaid intern and can really treat myself... so, as i was saying, these slabs are pretty stunning! and could be used as a countertop, backsplash or even as a fabulous piece of art! the photos i snapped with my iphone really don't do them justice! couldn't you just see one of these beauties lit from behind, mounted on a wall??? yep, i am loving my lighting class and thinking of all ways to incorporate it...
tiger's eye!
wild agate! LOVE
oh, and before i forget, i saw another table like this while in palm springs a couple of weekends ago.  this one needed some love too.  but guess what their asking price was??? $1200!!! YIKES!! granted, that was the price with the chairs but thankfully our total price post makeover was no where near that! we started with a $60 table!
interning has been great this week although as i was carrying heavy silk rug samples to return to showrooms to and from my car yesterday i was kicking myself for wearing heels. it was a two hello kitty band-aid day for me.  oops! you think i'd learn!

for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the (formerly almost) 40 year old intern

Monday, March 12, 2012

motel mondays: part 15


well, i have to say i love today's vintage motel sign. the look motor inn! even though it is not of the neon variety that i enjoy, i really love the bright vintage color blocked letters in a groovy font... and of course the fluttering eyelashes in "look."  how could i resist?? i happened upon it while driving through crenshaw with my friend darin last week.  not a part of town that i visit often but we were driving through, successfully avoiding freeway traffic, on our way to meet with a guy about some stone (more on that later this week!).  as soon as i saw this sign i made darin pull over so i could snap some quick pics!


last week i spent most of my time interning sourcing cool cabinet and drawer pulls for a new project.  i just love the attention to detail!  and the designers are treating a lot of the door knobs and pulls as jewelry for maximum impact. super cool!

speaking of jewelry... a few weeks back i showed a photo of some pyrite i was going to make some pieces from. well check out the slightly over the top chunky silver cocktail ring i just created. pretty groovy, right?


this week is an exciting one for me... a diy reveal coming soon and also some big news that i am super duper excited to tell you about at the end of the week!!

for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the (formerly almost) 40 year old intern

Monday, March 5, 2012

motel mondays: part 14

happy monday!  i happened upon today's vintage motel, the saga motor hotel, while hitting one of my favorite flea markets.  it is located in pasadena, right across the street from pasadena city college.  bit of trivia, it is also on the annual tournament of roses parade route.  so, upon first glance, nothing other than the sign looks interesting about this motel.  and while taking the sign photo i was a little disappointed that there wasn't more color and kitsch to make it interesting.  and then i looked down and around. and i noticed these...

these amazing designs were placed along the front and side of the building within the stonework.  so cool!!! i especially love the one above with the curved lines, dots and rectangles. totally inspiring! i almost missed them because they were just kind of blending into the boring sandy beige color of the building.  well, i am so glad i was paying attention because these are really cool designs.  i am definitely going to have to use them for future diy inspiration!  painted rugs, artwork, you name it! they are super cool!

i am still loving my lighting design class.  we had an assignment where we each picked a song for design inspiration.  we had to listen to the song and create a collage board showing inspiration we got from listening to the lyrics (the words themselves) and the song itself, and the mood it evoked.  we then had to brainstorm words associated with our feelings and chose photos and materials that we felt brought those feelings to life.  i chose one of my guilty pleasure songs.  a fun little ditty by owl eyes (aka adam young) called fireflies.  this song always puts me in a good mood and i can't help but smile every time i hear it. the lyrics are quite a bit silly in spots. you can listen to it here. the whole song brings me to midwestern summer days, fields of colorful wildflowers, blue skies, curtains blowing in the breeze, stars, sparkles, etc...
in my past life career i had a job where i gave presentations to both very large and small groups of people and i was never really nervous when i was presenting.  well, when asked to present my board to the class, i was a smidge nervous.  there was something so personal about this project and i wasn't sure how my interpretation would be received.  and frankly, i'm still not super confident in my creative abilities.  well, i am very happy to report that my instructor and classmates liked it! they really liked it! (sorry, had to go there...).  lots of people even came up to me after class to compliment me and say that they thought my board was a great interpretation of the song.  how cool is that?? i think this project was such an interesting one and i have to say i never really thought about linking music to design but what an awesome idea! might be an interesting exercise with future clients? 

i want to send a great big thank you to a blog called knock off decor featured my latest creation, my mod bubble pendant light, on their site! how cool is that??  and sending a great big thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate and vote for my blog in the best diy and home design categories in the apartment therapy homies!  i didn't make the final cut but so excited that i made the list...  it is true that it's an honor just to be nominated!

for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter and you can even follow my boards on pinterest too!

until next time...

the (formerly almost) 40 year old intern