Working Wednesday – LEED Home Tour

Thought I would give you a peak at the LEED Home Tour I participated in last Saturday.

This is the first tour for the Newport Beach Green Home.

As you can see, this project is still in the early stages of construction.

Man, have you ever seen more beautiful framing?  Seriously, this stuff is a work of art.  Almost a shame to cover it up with drywall.  Of course, if we didn’t, I sorta wouldn’t have a job, would I?

Lots of people showed up. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dunnage Show

If you are in the SoCal area in November, you couldn’t find a better thing to do than go see The Dunnage Show at Inheritance.  A collaboration of all the members of L.A. Box Collective, the exhibit will showcase what happened to 12 tons of dunnage – headed to the landfill – when this creative group of master woodworkers got hold of it.  Expect amazing pieces of furniture and accessories, if their previous work is anything to go by!

Place:  Inheritance – 8055 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048-4517  ph (323) 658-6756

Date: Opening reception November 3rd, 2011 from 7-10PM


Newport Green Home Tour This Saturday

If you are in the Southern California area this Saturday, stop by and say “Hi!”.

Here is the information:

Guided Tour and Open House
Saturday, October 22nd, from 10am to 12pm

Tour a LEED for Homes registered custom home in Newport Beach while it’s still under construction with exposed studs. Builder John Steed of Maverick Home Builders, Project Manager Laura Sanders of Jeannette Architects in Long Beach, Interior Designer Rachel Hulan of Path Design, Consultant Evan Little of Permaculture Properties and other design team members as well as USGBC-OC volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and lead two scheduled tours through this cutting edge home. Targeted certification level is Platinum. Targeted certification level is Platinum. Light refreshments will be served.

10:15am – 1st guided tour begins
11:15am – 2nd guided tour begins

Street parking is limited. Try parking at Grant Howard Park off Heliotrope and 5th.

$5 Students
$5 USGBC-OC Members
$15 Non-Members

Tickets are limited, so make sure to reserve your spot early. Contact the USGBC-OC chapter at 714-832-3616 for more information or go to our website at to register.

Thanks for visiting, and hope to see you there!


BlogHer 2011

Dear Readers,

I’ll be attending BlogHer ’11 tomorrow.  If you are also attending, please let me know.  I would love to meet you!

Thanks for visiting,


Dwell on Design 2011 Today!

I’m off to see what there is to see at Dwell on Design today.  Love that there is a design show with such buzz in Southern California again.  Wonder what they’ll have on show this time?

I’ll be posting all the fun stuff I see on my Twitter account while I’m there, in case you can’t wait till next week to hear about it!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Dwell + Method + You + Your Idea = Winner?!?

Dwell and Method have teamed up to offer a fun, creative challenge – what can YOU design using an empty Method bottle?

Here’s how they describe the contest:

Dwell and method, two arbiters of style that aim for pride of place on your shelves, dare you to defy us with your concepts and creations for upcycling, recycling, rethinking, and deconstructing—beginning with your empty method product bottles. This design contest is about celebrating the effervescence of the everyday, because we think real creativity is about taking a second look, and breathing new life into the old. We’re looking for imaginative, innovative and inspiring concepts and creations that give method product bottles and packages a sexy new lease on life. Whether it’s an empty method bottle that now holds bouquets of blooms, a collage created from thousands of pieces of deconstructed method materials, or a conceptual rendering for future method fish bowls, we want you to submit a photo or rendering that shows how you’d move from method-everyday to method-extravagant, and we’ll shower you with fabulous prizes.

The Grand Prize is $300 worth of Method products, so put on your thinking caps and see what awesomeness you can come up with!  You have until June 30th.

Oh, and if you do submit an entry, make sure you tell us all about it in the comments below.  We’ll be rooting for you!

AltBuild in Santa Monica Tomorrow


If you are in Southern California this Friday or Saturday, you should head on over to AltBuild in Santa Monica.  Some favorite folks of mine will be there, including The L.A. Box Collective, Harding Construction and Sustainable Solutions (along with their ReUse Haus), Eric Corey Freed, and Tondro Green Art.

I’ll be checking things out tomorrow morning, so if you see a daffy looking red-head wandering the hall be sure to say hi!

An Ode to Woad – Part 2

So, as I mentioned last week in An Ode to Woad – Part 1, I now have a serious addiction problem.  Let me show you how that came to be…

After gathering at the lovely French General for the workshop, we all carpooled over to the park where our dyeing experience would take place.

Once at the park we got a delightful and informative overview of the history of woad dyeing from Denise Lambet, who flew all the way from the South of France just to create a legion of new woad addicts dyers.  After regaling us with stories of previous woad workshop students stripping down to their skivvies in an attempt to have just ONE more garment to dunk in the vats, she proceeded to explain how the process worked, and what we would need to do to have a successful dyeing experience.  Then we got to work. Read the rest of this entry »

An Ode to Woad – Part 1

I’ve recounted my experience dyeing with woad this last weekend to quite a few people in the last several days, and almost every one of them had the same question, “what the heck IS woad?”  So, for those of you who have the same question, here is a little background:

Woad comes from the common Isatis tinctoria plant.  It has been in use as a pigment and dye since Egyptian times, and possibly longer.  Many have thought that the blue pigment the Picts (early Scottish tribes) used to color their skin blue was woad, although there is some debate about that.  Oddly, for a dye that has been around for so long, it is surprisingly difficult to extract.  Because of that, the cultivation and processing were controlled by wealthy “woad masters” throughout much of European history.  Until Napoleonic times, the extraction method took a full year and a half, and involved a long fermentation in urine filled vats.  I can’t even begin to imagine the smell!  And not just any pee would do.  In order to have the proper ph level. it had to be human male pee.  Thus the preponderance of taverns near where the woad was produced.  Cheers!

image via


Even once Napoleon’s chemists had figured out a quicker (and hopefully less odoriferous) method, so as to supply his army with blue cloth, the extraction was still a laborious process.  Above are workers hand rolling “woad balls” in order to put them out to dry.  Unfortunately, the heavy manual labor required to extract the dye made it fall out of favor, and the last woad production ended in England in the early part of the 20th century.  Happily, some dedicated people, like those at Bleu de Pastel de  Lectoure , have been working hard, to not only revive the art, but to improve upon it and make it a commercially viable, natural, alternative to synthetic dyes.

image via

Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming Talk – “The Art of Handmade in Green Interior Design”

You remember that lovely house in Costa Mesa, CA I showed you on Monday?  Well, I’m going to be giving a talk there on Saturday, October 30th, from 10:00 – 11:30 AM, called The Art of Handmade in Green Interior Design.  There is no charge to attend.  Here is the description:

Come explore the role of handmade, artisan crafted furnishings in green interior design projects, and how you can integrate those ideas into your own homes. We will look at why items made by hand are inherently sustainable, and provide a much better investment over time. Special emphasis will be given to learning about the handwoven, vegetable dyed rugs, and the artisan dining table currently at the Cecil Place residence. A Q&A will follow the presentation.

I will be showing a bunch of materials and furnishings that are handmade, as well as images of artisan produced goods and a list of resources and contacts to find out more.  If you have even a tenth of the passion for the subject as I do, then you won’t want to miss what I hope is the first of many presentation on the subject.

If you would like to attend, please click here to RSVP. *** Notice***  Unfortunately, this event has been postponed.  We will be announcing a new date soon.