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Friday, May 31, 2013

Welcome to the Modernist Nest

...or as my grandsons call it, Grammo's Little House. Many thanks for your support and encouragement during the construction process and your patience as I readied it for the day I could finally invite you inside.

Tomorrow I'll share a few close-ups before I wrap up my construction saga. They will include the room divider, which has already changed since the photo was taken (thanks to a mix-up by the postal service), as well as the beautiful macrame hanger sent to me by the fantastic Pippa of ouch flower, which I've been waiting to show you in its place of honor.

If you see anything that makes you curious, just ask. I'll be sure to give you a closer look and whatever information you want...or you can check out my Pinterest boards entitled Materials.

Construction by JC Construction and Remodeling, Jose Camarillo (owner) and crew
Photos by Home Snappers

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reveal update

The photographer's website promises a less than 24-hour turnaround, but when I told him that these were going to be for a blog post and possible submission to a magazine, he said they'd probably spend a little more time than usual on them...but assured me I'd have them by mid-week.

Well, by my calendar, Wednesday is mid-week, and the photos aren't here yet. I emailed this morning and told him I had a Wednesday deadline on the blog post, but I haven't heard back. I'm sure that means he's working diligently, without stopping for meals or bathroom breaks, to finish my images!

Still, Wednesday is 6 hours and 15 minutes away from being over, and I guess it's possible that I could still get the post in under the wire. I've been in bed with a horrible head cold all day, but I promise I'll check my email periodically.

I have to admit, though, that this is a fitting ending to a construction saga and landscaping project that has had more than its share of delays. A speedy turnaround on the photos just wouldn't have seemed right. :)

UPDATE: Thursday, 9:30 a.m.--I heard from the photographer. He's promised the photos by early afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed.

UPDATE: Thursday, 3:55 p.m.--Is it just me, or does "early afternoon" mean 1:00 or 2:00? It's almost 4:00, and I think we've passed "mid-afternoon" and are headed straight for "late afternoon." I'm going to take more medicine and head back to bed.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gearing up for the reveal of the Modernist Nest

Many of you have followed the construction of the apartment behind my house, where I now live since turning my property into a family compound of sorts, with my daughter, SIL and two grandsons living in the main house. Fellow blogger Brismod called it my "modernist nest," and the name stuck. I've been promising a reveal for some time now, but I've been waiting to iron out all the kinks and get all the landscaping done before showing it.

We worked on the yard yesterday and will put the finishing touches on it today. The photographer is scheduled to arrive at 11 a.m. tomorrow. He has promised a speedy turnaround on the photos, so...barring any more unforeseen problems...the reveal should take place Wednesday. I have my fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I'll share a few before and in-progress shots of the yard.

Before: During construction

Before: All sand and weeds in front of my door

In progress: Stepping stones, rock and planters are in place.
To do: Bird bath and feeder and plants in the flower bed

Before: The back yard...just a pile of dirt

In progress: Where there was once only dirt...grass! Luckily, we've had lots of rain since laying the sod.
To do: Galvanized tubs for herbs and vegetables, lights, mow!
(Rocks and plants behind trellis/fence are for my back yard.)

In progress: Last time I showed you, there were only a few baskets hung.
To do: More pavers to form a seating area, stone, mulch and more plants

It's been a slow go. It's taken us almost as long to get the landscaping done as it took to build the apartment, but it's almost over. Thanks to all of you who have offered me encouragement along the way and have assured me that construction projects really do end eventually.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Carl Auböck

Carl Auböck 
Carl Auböck (1900-1957) was an Austrian designer. He completed an apprenticeship to a bronze and chisel worker in his parents' workshop from 1914-1917 and then studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1917-1919. From 1919-1921 he was a student of Johannes Itten at the Bauhaus in Weimar. In 1926 he took over the family business.

In the late 1920s and 1930s, he continued to produce the same product line his parents had sold, but his paintings soon became recognized as masterpieces of Austrian Modernism.

In the 1940s the workshop began to produce small lamps and furniture, as well as very high quality handcrafted accessories, and he began to achieve international attention. In the late 1940s, Auböck was joined in the business by his son. In 1954 reached the height of his career when he received four gold medals at the Milan Triennale. His distinctive designs form the core of the current Carl Auböck collection, which is still produced by the family today in the shop where four generations have worked.

From and 

Early bowl

Live edge table


Coat rack

Fruit basked - modernspecific

Magazine rack

Brass watering can


Bronze bird

Wall shelf

Corkscrews and bottle openers

Brass lamp

Pitcher and glasses

Ring vase

Friday, May 24, 2013

Back in the day: Don't bare that hair!

Back in the day, women were serious about protecting their coiffures. Hairdos were considerably more structured back then, requiring hours of rolling, drying and styling, so it makes sense that we didn't want them ruined by the wind or rain.

Some women managed to make headscarves look very glamorous.

Brigitte Bardot

Elizabeth Taylor

Jacqueline Kennedy

Audrey Hepburn

Unfortunately, most of us missed the mark and only managed to look frumpy. But we were in good company.

Queen Elizabeth II

Headscarves, however, were preferable to the other form of headgear popular back in the day: the plastic rain bonnet. No practical woman left home without one in her purse, tucked inside its small rectangular carrying case. Some were adorned with images of flowers or umbrellas. - RickRackKitty

Others just looked like plastic bags on your head. Nobody was making these things look glamorous! - rainman90de

Thursday, May 23, 2013

All about the foutas

I have a new obsession...foutas. I'm sure I'm late to climb on board the fouta train, but I just discovered them a few days ago.

I was looking for a kitchen towel that was out of the ordinary. I didn't want a plain, solid color terry or a waffle weave or a microfiber. I had bought a beautiful Vera Neumann print from Crate and Barrel a while back, but the vibrant colors didn't look quite right with the muted tones of my Harvest Time china collection, so the search was on.

I looked at all the predictable places for black, white or gray towels...Crate and Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, Chefs Catalog...but I couldn't find anything I really liked. Then I started to run across foutas, and I knew I had found the solution. They are much thinner than traditional towels, but they're said to be incredibly absorbent. I think they have a cool, fresh look. And I love that crazy fringe!

Historically, foutas were worn as clothing in Mediterranean countries. They were long, seamless pieces worn knotted around the midsection. Today they're being used as beach towels, sarongs and picnic blankets. Smaller sizes are used as bath towels, hand towels, throws and table runners.

The fouta I bought., by Scents and Feel

And the other Scents and Feel fouta I bought - Fouta de Val

Foutas aren't cheap, so I can see that this might become an expensive obsession. I'm going to try to exercise some self-control and limit my collection to two or three towels...maybe four. OK, five, tops. In the meantime, if you know of any support groups for foutaholics, let me know.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fance Franck

Fance Franck
Fance Franck (1931-2008) was born in Montgomery Alabama. She began her studies in literature, philosophy and history of art at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Later she studied at the Sorbonne in Paris before returning to the United States to study contemporary French and English poetry at Harvard. She found these studies unsatisfying, and in 1950, decided to study sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

After three years of study there, she chanced to enter an apprenticeship at the Greenwich House Pottery in New York, where she finally found her creative niche. Still, in 1956, she returned to Paris to continue her studies in French and literature. A few months after she arrived there, she met ceramacist Francine Del Pierre and became her pupil. She decided to stay in Paris, and in 1960, she and Del Pierre founded a studio together.

When Del Pierre died in 1968, Franck took over the studio. That same year, the Musée National de Céramique de Sèvres organized an exhibition honoring Del Pierre and asked Franck to produce a cup in her memory, which created many new opportunities for her work.

She experimented with red copper glazes, which resulted in her reproducing by accident the imperial "fresh red" of the early Ming Dynasty. Many Asian scholars and manufacturers were interested in this discovery, and she began collaborating with the British Museum, the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics and The Japan Foundation. She started working with the Fukagawa Seiji Porcelain Manufacturing Company factory, where she created about a hundred pieces. When Fance Franck came back to France from Japan, she resumed her work with the Manufacture de Sèvres and continued working in her own studio and with the Japanese manufacturing factories.

Franck died in Paris, on August 5, 2008.


Large rectangular vase

Square vase with horse motif

Flat ovoid vase

Red glazed rectangular vases

I recently purchased a plain white porcelain chop plate designed by Fance Franck for Dansk.