I lived with two of my best friends that received their doctorates in particle and theoretical physics at CalTech University. All we did was explore. I adopted my dog, a xoloitzcuintli named Tesla, from my next door neighbors at Tierra de La Culebra Art Park.
I relocated living spaces when I got a most unique opportunity across the street. All yay stuff fit in my Honda Fit and it only took two trips. On the preserved acre of land would be my landlord, a world-renowned artist (look her up here–). Unconventional and magic are the words I’ll use to sum it up. I had to run across the yard to use the restroom, shower, use power, etc., but those were petty details.
I’d pass right by the 19′ long 1969 Vintage Silverstreak “Jet” never realizing it would be one of my best art pieces and rare blank canvases.
It was a 1960s mobile office for LA Department of Water and Power .
I installed three roof vent systems when I realized they were going to be the top priority in the stagnant and pounding heat. Sometimes I slept on the outdoor porch of the main house, or slept in my car with the trunk open (it was cooler in those spots than inside the 100+ year old, 100% American Craftsman home). Ventilation was priority…even curtains came later.
This is what it looked like after the initial gutting. Luckily there was a pre-existing deck (this plays a major part soon).
I scored my lumber from my friend/owner (and famous artist of this era Kyle Austin Dunn) of BayAreaCustomFurniture. The result gave a true breath of life to the space. Stark white walls were established after three layers of primer, three layers of paint, and two days of scrubbing and cleaning away years of grime and dust.
Living a minimalist lifestyle’s always been the life for me. Each item in the trailer was of personal value. My goal was to create product of form and function working in concert—pictures, curated salon wall, artwork of friends, antique furniture and accent pieces, the works.
Hanging on the wall to the left in the photo below is the original hand drawn design plan for the the community garden. These sort of pieces are priceless.
In the summer, when it was scorching, I’d sleep with the door wide open, facing palm trees, while Chopper, our sweetest property dog, staked out on the deck keeping me safe. In the winter I had a small yet effective space heater. Mom still sent me an electric blanket.
Power ran straight from the main house under a shallow ditch using a couple long, orange extension cords. Something tells me this isn’t to code. I’ll apologize later. Hey, we has to be resourceful! The hanging lanterns shown here proved my primary light sources. I had to go outside for any sort of phone or internet signal. Didn’t mind.
The stump pictured below is made of real California avocado wood, originating from a mature tree I knew during my time surfing for six months in Ventura, California before making my post-graduation move to LA to in film production. The tree was cut down despite much protest from locals. Alas, I collected the remnants I could. I created this stump and a live edge coffee table, added hairpin legs, and still use every day.
It gets fun here!
A close friend of mine, a Senior Producer at The Ellen Show, approached me about an upcoming segment of the Ellen Show show called Grand Design. A professional crew would come in, and renovate various spaces across the country in just two days per project for under $1,000. Long story short, it ruled.
The revived shiny coat happened via a finish that airliners to maintain their sheen. A turquoise stripe added just the right personal touch, matching the style of not only myself but also my eccentric property owner/artist whom generously allowed me to share her acre of sacred land.
The transformation was not only aesthetically transforming but also initiated a re-birth and revitalization in the mindsets and hearts of all that gave energy to this project.
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There were many of these lazy days I will always have a lifetime of gratitude, memories and pride in my work and the team of others that helped me with achieve my vision.