Monday, March 28, 2011

Jonathan Adler

Michael and I conducted very little research before we went to Palm Springs, but I did come across The Parker Palm Springs during some Internet dabbling. When I saw that Jonathan Adler was the designer, I hoped we'd be able check it out.

We first saw Adler when he was a judge on Top Design (though it was hard not to be distracted by Todd Oldham). After that show I saw his pottery all over the Internet, and we were thrilled to receive the best tea pot and mugs as a wedding gift.

We became official fans when we went out of our way to check out his store in Hollywood last year, where we bought this teal vase as a souvenir:

In Palm Springs, we went for brunch at Norma's, one of the hotel restaurants, so we got to explore the grounds. Everything was very charming -- from the communal fire pit to the croquet pitch -- but we only took photos inside the main building. This one captures the overall style of the lounge:

I don't know if I'd ever choose to stay at this hotel, even though I'm so smitten with it. I'm not sure I can mix with guests who mull about inviting Nick Cage and Joanie Rivers to their next event (overhead during brunch). But I would go out of my way for a cocktail in that lounge any day of the week.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Desert love

In grade school, we remembered that desert is spelled with one 's' and dessert with two because people prefer dessert (that is, two servings over one). At the time, the logic seemed sound; I did like dessert. But now that I've been to the desert, it seems unfair.

We decided to drive from Las Vegas to Palm Springs because of the direct, cheap flights. We imagined the road trip would be interesting, but it turned out to be one of the vacation highlights.

We drove through Barstow on the way down, and we took the route through the Mojave National Preserve on the way back -- the favoured portion of the drive because there was no traffic, and the ghost towns were just creepy enough in the light of day. It was relaxing, and we stopped more than once to get a close look at the Joshua Trees and to bask in the desert heat.

Even though the drive was so endearing, I won't travel through Las Vegas next time we go to Palm Springs. The city is definitely an interesting place, but I found it expensive and exhausting. Instead, I would travel through Los Angeles or San Diego, and I would spend some quality time in Joshua Tree National Park, which is only a half hour drive from Palm Springs. The pool at the Ace Hotel is clearly the main attraction, but I'm going to see some lizards next time around.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Being prepared

When I put my earthquake kit together in 2007, it was because Michael and I were superstitious. I don't think I have to explain why we felt it was necessary to revisit our supplies this weekend.

This is what we've added:

A First Aid kit. (A big omission the first time around.)

A crow bar.

Waterproof matches. (We live in Victoria, after all.)

A whistle.

Freeze-dried meals, including space ice cream to lift our spirits. (The meals don't expire until 2016, so they're worth the investment.)

Water purification tablets.

We also added more bottled water, a survival handbook and a windup radio/flashlight since that original photo was taken.

If you live in an earthquake zone, I hope you're taking appropriate measures too; hopefully we'll never have to realize the fruits of our labour.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hello Palm Springs

I suspected that I would like Palm Springs, and I was right. It's hot and dry and just plain lovely. That said, I'm not sure I would like it as much if it weren't for the Ace Hotel. Michael and I have stayed at the Ace Hotel in Portland a couple of times (remember?), and we figured it was time to try a warmer version. You should check out some photos on Flickr to get an idea of what the desert is like, and I'll go to bed and think of some travel stories to share with you. Deal?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Guest post: Making quilts for new friends

Remember this? Pictured above is the young and undoubtedly charming Charlotte Wallace, sleeping on the quilt I made for her.

Needless to say, these pictures continue to make my whole day.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Making a log cabin pillow (part 2)

The pillow is complete. I sewed the back in the simplest way possible: two pieces of material that overlap. I might add a button to hold everything in place, but I doubt it.

Even though this project turned out to be pretty easy, I feel like it is my biggest crafting achievement to date (probably because I talked about it for so long). So, yeah. High five!