Bold Creatures

The Arizona desert is truly a beautiful place. One of the things I love about it (besides the scent of clean desert air) are the creatures that live here. All types of pretty little birds, and of course cacti. So with that in mind, I did this little series recently. (If you’d like to buy any of them, visit my shop.)

Curious Hummingbird

Beep Beep!

Hummingbird Landing

Prickly Pear

Hummingbird Looks

The Eames House

If you’re ever in the Los Angeles area and have any interest in architecture, Charles & Ray Eames, or mid-century modern, definitely make time to visit the Eames house and studio.

Exterior of the Eames House

Also known as Case Study House #8, it’s located in a lightly wooded meadow that overlooks the buildings, beach, and ocean below. Here’s the view from the end of the lot.

View from the Eames House meadow

Touring the house

We toured the exterior, and could clearly see in to everything on the ground floor of both the house and the studio. I totally want to steal some of their ideas for our own house. (Yes, I took notes.)

We got to explore the grounds and sit in these chairs:

Chairs on the patio between the Eames house and studio

Similar chairs were stacked in a tall tower inside the studio building, looking like art. I loved looking at all the items collected and created by the Eames. We weren’t allowed to take photos of the inside, but it was worth seeing!

The staff there was informative too. The house was built using pre-fabricated materials, like Cemesto for some of the colored panels. We got to see copies of ads and catalog pages from the era, like this one.

An ad for Cemesto, a building material used in the 40s

(Note what it’s made from!)

Getting there…

If you’re thinking of going, make sure they’re open and have room first. We just checked the info on TripAdvisor here, and then gave the foundation a call since it said they were closed. (They weren’t.)

You need reservations to tour the inside. Tickets for that are steep, because it’s a fundraiser for restoration work. When we visited, the price to tour the exterior only was $10 per person. Parking is on Corona del Mar street, about half a block north of the driveway to the house.


Smell the Coffee…

instead of the litter box. Ready for an easy DIY-odor eliminator?

I’m not sure where I first heard this tip, but it’s made such a big difference in the aroma of our house that I like to pass it on: coffee grounds absorb odors.

You can place them anywhere there are odors that you’d rather not smell.

For us, this meant keeping coffee grounds near the litter box for our cats. We just kept a handful in a Ziploc bag, and changed it out regularly so that it didn’t grow moldy.

Since we’re not coffee drinkers (gasp!), I got the coffee grounds from work or from Starbucks, who gives them out for free if you ask.

Bonus tip: If you do go to Starbucks for coffee grounds, bring a small container to have filled, otherwise they’ll give you an enormous bag full of them. If you do end up with too much, you can always use the extra in the garden.

Much cheaper than an air freshener, and better-smelling too to my way of thinking.