Saturday, August 25, 2012

I need a Breezepod

I interrupt this long period of silence with a blog entry.  Surprise!  I've been consumed by real life matters that haven't left me in the chattiest of moods, but today I took a break from the dull business of reality to go on a fun outing.

Have you heard of Sunset Magazine?  If you live on the west coast, then you surely know that it's a well-established and beloved home decor, gardening, cooking, west coast lifestyle magazine.  And from time to time they build or decorate an "idea house" that is open for touring.  Well, imagine my delight when I realized that the current Sunset Idea House is right here in my town, Healdsburg.  And I was even more delighted when I learned that it's in my very neighborhood, about 6 blocks away and up into the pricey hillside area with gorgeous views.

So off  I went today, with my friend Sally, to tour the place.  Here's what it looks like as you approach from the end of the road.

This "Breezehouse" is a pre-fab home by a California company called Blu Homes, designed to be green and energy efficient and affordable.  While this sort of modern design isn't usually to my taste, I liked how the inside felt open and functional and, well, breezy.   

That deck up there, right off the living room, had the most gorgeous view of oak-covered hills and I could pretty much have stayed there all day.

Okay, here's the photo that made me pull out my phone to start taking photos.  Look at that tile!  Doesn't it look like buttons?  I just love the texture, modern but funky.  Here's another look:

It was on all the walls in the shower, too.  (In case you need this for your next home, it's from Walker Zanger, from the Tu Collection, in cool white.  And oh my gosh, do they have beautiful tile products and a stunning blog. If I ever win the lottery and end up in a position to do a home, I'll know where to go for tile.)

And speaking of tile, here's a shot of me and Sally as we admire the pretty blue tile in this bathroom.  (We were in focus in person.  Honest.)

The kitchen had a similar warm teal subway tile for the backsplash, that looked so pretty with the light wood.

Who knew it would be the tile that would get my attention today?  And speaking of tile, look at the beautiful fireplace surround in the living room:

 The artwork throughout the house was delightful -- pulled together by designer Sharon Portnoy.  (When I win that lottery and do that house?  I'll call her.  That woman has great taste.)  Here's a piece I fell in love with, and I'm sorry that I couldn't find any artist attribution at all:

Kind of makes you want to get out the scissors and glue stick, doesn't it?

There was a little wine room, which Sally and I figured was designed especially so a parent could go hide away alone and get sloshed after a hectic day.  Notice: only one chair in here.

I think my favorite part of the house was what they called the "Breezepod," a separate room across a gorgeous deck from the main house.  It would make the perfect quilt studio, and I was eying the sunny deck thinking what a great fabric dying spot it would make.  I think I'd call mine the Artpod. 

I am happy to report that the house is currently available and on the market, if you happen to have $2.6 million to spend.  You can see the listing (and more photos) here.

It turned out that Alice Waters, the chef and founder of legendary restaurant Chez Panisse, was going to be there later in the day to give a talk about kitchen gardens and her Edible Schoolyard Project.  When I asked one of the home tour reps about her coming, she went off and got me a signed copy of Alice Waters' new book, In the Green Kitchen, which they were going to be giving to the first 500 visitors later on.  She whispered that she'd just consider me one of the first of those 500.  What a  very nice treat.  I'm looking forward to reading it.

 After Sally and I oohed and aahed, we headed into town for a delicious mexican lunch and lots of talk.  Like me, Sally has a child with Aspergers so we often talk parenting stuff.  In fact, we laughed as we went through the house, seeing how impractically decorated for living with real kids, even though the imaginary family the house was staged for was imagined to have twins (and a nanny living in the Breezepod.)  Our kids and our respective dogs would have dirtied up all that white upholstery and smudge-free expanses of glass in no time.

Still, it's fun to step into an imaginary life for an hour or so. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And it's only been 5 years...

Goodness, but it feels good to finish a big project.  It was this in May, 2007...

And for a long time -- years -- it rested in the closet in the form of these blocks...

You might remember that I played with ideas on Electric Quilt to get to this:

And then, after some more piecing and sandwiching, it looked like this for a while in July:

(If you click on the photo, you can see how I quilted it, with a mix of straight parallel lines and in-the-ditch quilting to outline the star triangles.)

And as of yesterday, it looks like this, ALL FINISHED!

Well, okay.  It needs to be blocked.  And labelled.  But it's finished enough for me to celebrate.  I call it Independence Day. 

Now, on to the next UFO!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Olympic Training

Are you enjoying watching the Olympics as much as I am?  I'm enjoying the events and the scenes of London, especially as they remind me of the lovely trip I had to the UK last summer.  It's too late to make some of the fun British themed projects to celebrate...

like this quilt, by Sarah Brazier (quilt pattern available on Etsy)

or this multi-flagged quilt by Amy at Diary of a Quilter...

Or this shabby chic union jack wall hanging, from Moda.

But wait! There's good news!  There are a whole TWO YEARS until the winter Olympics, which start on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  We have plenty of time to get a Russian Olympics project done!

Amazingly, quilts are being incorporated into the official look of the Sochi Olympics.  These banners went up in Sochi when that city was selected as the 2014 Winter Olympics host:

According to the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, the concept of the "look of the Games" was designed to revolve around “the principle of the ‘patchwork quilt’ — a combination of 16 designs representing the most famous traditional Russian arts and crafts, ranging from Gzhel to Khokhloma.”

If I get started now, I may be ready by February, 2014.