September 19, 2012 |
The 1928 icebox in my Los Feliz apartment has always been a curiosity with its insulated door and brass latch. But the real oddity lives inside. A motor is stuck with 14 tubes that once coursed with methyl chloride or perhaps sulfur dioxide. I always thought the snake-like contraption resembled a marauding insect from a 1950s science-fiction horror flick. I loved the vintage container, but always thought it deserved better than serving as a haphazard cupboard. Plus, I'm careful how I use each inch in my 550-square-foot flat.
January 31, 2013 |
When Bay Area designers Kevin McElroy and Matthew Wolpe of Just Fine Design/Build unveiled their mod chicken coop Chick-in-a-Box at a 2010 Maker Faire , they thought they were on to something. Chickens had moved from the farm to the backyard, after all, and coops had become popular design fodder for architects and artisans alike. But McElroy and Wolpe found little interest in their $1,200 handmade chicken coop, regardless of its post-and-beam-style composition or striking butterfly roof that doubles as a water catchment system.
September 19, 2013 |
Now that I'm officially an empty-nester, I decided to start learning some new things. And Wednesday night I started a class in canning and preserving with Ernest Miller, known all over L.A. for his expertise in this field. In fact, Miller gave us a persuasive lecture on how food preservation is the basis of civilization. Thanks to Clarence Birdseye, home preservation fell off. But there's good news: The DIY and slow-food movements, economy and other factors are spurring a renaissance.
September 7, 2013 |
September is one of the most popular months to move, but busy renters may not feel as if they have the energy or time for DIY projects in a new home. I've pulled together five products that are easy ways to put a personal stamp on a new space. Whether you are moving now or simply refreshing the same ol' place, these quick fixes may give you the look you're after without leaving a permanent mark on your rental. 1. Cutting Edge Stencils: This company's “Geometric/Allover” stencils are a great way to update an old or cheap bookcase.
July 9, 2013 |
Jamie Jamison remembers her early introduction to woad. She was on a road trip with her parents, stopping at a Stuckey's shop and seeing a tiny souvenir Navajo rug that illustrated where the natural dyes came from. She has her own now -- blues, greens and yellows, all grown from her yard. Yellow is easy. Even onion skins will make a usable yellow. Blue, however, is another story. For that she is growing woad, Isatis tinctoria , a member of the mustard family. Woad originated in southern Europe and western Asia.
May 20, 2012 |
Barack Obama wanted to be a transformational president, and as we head into the general election, he may have gotten his wish - just not the way he or his supporters might have thought. Obama seems to have transformed the cohort of 18- to 29-year-olds, a whopping 66% of whom preferred him over John McCain, from passionate voters who thought Obama really did offer change they could believe in, into people feeling, in the words of veteran political analyst Charlie Cook, "disappointment and disillusionment.