Palm Springs, Part 3: Hiking

Andreas_canyon

Naturally, we went hiking when we were down in Palm Springs. We even went mid-day, and it was a little hot, but nothing crazy. We went to Andreas Canyon in the Indian Canyons, just a few miles from town. There was a small entrance fee to the park, so bring your money—and your camera. The pics below are a combination of the two trails we hit.

The first was the Andreas Canyon Trail: it was only a mile long but really scenic. A nice warm-up hike scattered with those shaggy Fan Palms.

Andreas Canyon

Then we hit the Murray Canyon Trail which leads to a waterfall called Seven Sisters (it was getting hotter at this point). This hike was a bit longer, almost 5 miles, and just as scenic. It was a little more technical too: hopping back and forth across the stream with the help of some rocks.

Murray-Canyon-Trail

I was actually surprised to see any water at all, considering this was the desert. And California is having a drought. You can see the waterfall isn’t exactly gushing, but this whole area was an unexpected oasis just a few miles from our hotel.

Palm Springs Getaway, Part 2: Korakia Pensione

Korakia-Pensione

When we first booked our trip to Palm Springs, I really wanted to stay at The Parker or Ace hotels. But I’m so glad we found this little Moroccan-inspired oasis instead. Tucked away at the base of the mountain, The Korakia Pensione was surprisingly quiet, had the BEST breakfast vibe, and felt like we’d been transported to another country.

Korakia-Pensione

The property was beautifully landscaped, with fire pits and twinkly lights flickering at dusk. One of the coolest features was this outdoor “theatre” where old movies were shown against the stucco wall (it doubled as a yoga studio in the morning).

The thing I looked forward to most was breakfast in the courtyard. So charming!

Korakia-Pensione

The Pensione consists of the main house, bungalows scattered throughout the property on either side of the road (each with french doors opening up to a courtyard), a bocce ball court, pool, outdoor beds and lots of nooks and crannies. I would not recommend, however, booking the cheapest room at the inn—which is exactly what I did. We booked the Delphi Room, and it was reasonably priced, but lacked the amenities, space and updates of the other rooms. Lesson learned.

Korakia-Pensione

That being said, this is a place I’d love to come back to and upgrade to one of the suites. Definitely worth the splurge, and a quiet retreat that will have you feeling like you’ve gone to the Mediterranean and back.

Palm Springs Getaway: Part 1

Palm Springs

Well, after 13 years of living in California, I finally made it down to Palm Springs. And it was everything I’d hoped for: sunny blue skies, 80 degree temps, those incredibly tall palm trees and miles and miles of mid-century charm. It was fun just driving around the different neighborhoods and checking out all the homes—from the modest to the iconic.

PS1

We arrived at the tail end of Modernism Week, an annual festival that celebrates mid-century design, so we booked a home tour by architect Donald Wexler. No pics allowed inside, but I can tell you it was immaculate. And next year I really wanna check out that Kaufmann house by Richard Neutra. So cool.

Palm Springs

We met some friends for the weekend (my old Cleveland neighbors!), and they rented this place, pictured above. Not only was it very cool, I have to say it was really nice having a BBQ and pool parties all to ourselves.

That being said, another fun thing to do in Palm Springs is check out all the hip hotels. We had dinner at the Purple Palm in the Old Colony Hotel, and lunch at Norma’s in The Parker. Everything was groovy, right down to the menu.

Palm Springs

We stopped into a bunch of other places as well—just to check out the scene. And our own hotel, the Korakia Pensione, was ridiculously charming (I’ll be posting pics of that next).

Painting Workshop: Sandy Ostrau

Sandy Ostrau workshop

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Sandy Ostrau. Held at the aMFa Gallery in Orinda, this was my first official workshop, so I was pretty excited. I’ve been admiring Sandy’s work for years and couldn’t wait to watch her painting process, so I especially loved the demos:

Sandy Ostrau workshop

I’m always amazed at how quickly a painting can come together for a seasoned artist. I tend to work really slow (too slow), but Sandy’s painting (above) started coming together within a half hour!

Below is an example of a painting that was reworked and basically painted on top of another. I’ve never really tried this, but Sandy loves the way different layers of color and texture show through—and that’s one of the things I love about her work as well.

Sandy Ostrau workshop

Another is the combination of colors: her palette is gorgeous! So I was really excited she went into so much detail about color mixing. The painting below was something she did at the end of her demo, very quickly—to simply use up the extra paint. This is something she does regularly in her studio as well, which allows her to just be free and loose. Another great tip.

Sandy Ostrau workshop

It was really interesting to watch Sandy interpret her subject matter and choose her colors. In general, a very inspiring workshop—can’t wait for the next one.

Sandy Ostrau workshop

(All images by Sandy Ostrau)

Navajo-esque

Navajo-inspired

Ever since I saw this navajo-inspired chair in Design Love Fest’s living room makeover, I’ve been obsessed with the overscale print. Which, of course, has lead to some online shopping. These are a few accessories I’m loving that give the same bold, tribal feel.

1 Camera Strap / 2 Rug / 3 Basket / 4 Pillow / 5 Blanket / 6 Cardigan / 7 Pillow

Tree Fall by Andy Goldsworthy

Image

I took advantage of this amazing weather we’ve been having by going on a nine-ish mile urban hike yesterday. We ended up in the Presidio, as I had been wanting to check out Tree Fall: the latest site-specific sculpture by British artist Andy Goldsworthy.

This one is indoors, although completely free-standing from the historic structure that it’s within. You can read all about it, as well as his other Presidio works, here. And there’s yet another installation slated for this Spring, at the Officer’s Club, once it’s renovated :)

Andy Goldsworthy Tree Fall

Andy Goldsworthy Tree Fall

I just love his work, and feel lucky to have so much of it nearby. If you’re unfamiliar with it you need to check out Rivers and Tides. It’s a fantastic movie documenting his process of creating these (mostly) temporary, and always intriguing sculptures.

Andy Goldsworthy Tree Fall