Hello Lucky

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Loving this source for fun wedding invites, greeting cards etc.

Floral adventures

Monday, April 26, 2010

Well, the tablecloths for aforementioned dinner party didn't end up happening, so they are being returned to World Market (really an excuse to go buy more throw pillows).  But I did end up deconstructing two simple Costco flower arrangements to create the simple yet elegant centerpiece for the dinner party.

Please excuse the hideous black folding chairs.  One day when everything else is done on my list, I will get around to replacing those.

More Pillows!

Well, we stopped in to World Market the other day to purchase a table cloth for a dinner party, and what did we end up leaving with? An outdoor rug for our upstairs patio and a fun new pillow for the living room.  I'm loving the pillow selection and prices at World Market.  This is me contemplating purchasing them all....

And this is the final product on the sofa.  Just need to add something on the other side.

Weekly Weeds: Saucy Flowers

You can call it simply "Black Eyed Susan Vine" or conjure it by its Linnaean classification:

Family Acanthaceae
Genus Thunbergia
Species alata
Variety “Superstar Orange"
Thank you Carl Linnaeus, originator of the botanical Latin classification system that makes us feel a little stupid at the nursery.

The brilliant Linnaeus was really quite shocking for his time: his idea of taxonomy was based on the male or female sexual organs of plants (stamens or pistils for those of you who don’t equate plants parts with sex) and this was controversial in his 18th century day.

His naughty musings on plants,

“The flowers' leaves. . . serve as bridal beds which the Creator has so gloriously arranged, adorned with such noble bed curtains,

and perfumed with so many soft scents that the bridegroom with his bride might there celebrate their nuptials with so much the greater solemnity.”

caused him no end of trouble.

One of his critics, botanist Johann Siegesbeck, called his sexually explicit system "loathsome harlotry." Linnaeus had the last word, of course, by naming an insignificant little weed "Siegesbeckia. I am sure we all know someone we'd like to demote to a weed, if it didn’t give weeds a bad name.

Lovely Linnaean Thunbergia
Linnaean rival Siegesbeckia
But Black Eyed Susan Vine is a most charming weed. Linnaeus would probably approve of its other subtly sexy names too: “Alba” (virginal white) “Blushing Susie” (knowingly innocent & pink-tinged) and of course, the well-known-about-town, Black Eyed Susan (strumpet).
If you want to cover something unsightly, create a screen or add a feature to your garden in a hurry certainly use Ancanthaceae Thunbergia alata.
It is a rampant grower, which in the gardening world cuts both ways. It will speedily camouflage your garden eyesores and give you privacy from nosy neighbors, but if you are not paying attention, well...
This was my dog.

Weekly Weeds By Nancy Knapp

Ny Chair Part Deux

My dad kindly scanned this photo of me (right) standing for the first time aided by my parents' Ny Chair.  See posting below. 
I would also like the point out the awesome sweater coat, glasses and wide leg trousers my mom is sporting.

The Ny Chair

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Tortoise General Store is one my favorite haunts on Abbot Kinney.  It's a great collection of Japanese housewares, gift objects, accessories etc.  The pricing is reasonable and the owners have a great tounge in cheek sensibility with the items they select.  I specifically love the Ny Chair. 
My parents had one of these back in the 70's and 80's and I learned to stand up by pulling myself up on their Ny Chair.  If only they had known back then that you can purchase the replaceable covers through Tortoise General Store.

Grilled Cheese junkies TAKE NOTE!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The 1st 8th Annual (don't ask me what that is supposed to mean) Grilled Cheese Invitational is happening this Saturday April 24th at Los Angeles Center Studios. 

So load up on the Lactaid and head on down to sample LA's finest cheese grillin'.  Tickets are $10 and can be bought online

Mosaic House

On a recent episode of Dear Genevieve, Genevieve Gorder used some really schnazzy (yes, schnazzy) moroccan cement tiles to create a backsplash.  She then created a homey foyer in another residence with mosaics from the same line.  I have tracked them down to Mosaic House in New York.  I'm loving these two patterns - that happen to be on sale - for my own kitchen backsplash (although in 5 years when I finally get around to doing my kitchen I'm sure there will be something else that I want)

The Guest Room

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is starting to look quite cozy.  The "Baby Poop" color on the walls really makes the drapes pop (Bernie and Katy, thanks for the drapes!) and the map ties it together.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme...

Monday, April 19, 2010

OK, so there isn't any thyme, but my new kitchen herb garden does consist of rosemary, lavendar, sage, oregano, mint, thyme, lemon mint, basil and peppers.



And some artichokes elsewhere in the yard.  

Not bad.  Now planties, go on and grow.

And check out the bed we planted next to the front stairs


Ah, to be a child again. 

Well Simon Pillard and Philippe Rosetti two Paris designers decided to do just that.  They started by building a lego chair and moved on to cladding their kitchen island in the small colored blocks - recently featured in Dwell magazine.  It lends a missoni-esque coloful vibe to their otherwise minimalist space.  I think we can all take a cue from them and instill a little child-like whimsy in our homes.

Open Days Garden Tours in Pasadena

OK, so I guess I'm on a bit of a garden roll.  Just planted our herb garden this weekend which I will post pics of shortly.  But check out this beautiful garden.... in person.

This Sunday April 25 is the Open Days Garden Tour in Pasadena.  Pay $25 to see six beautiful gardens or $5 each.  It's a great way to get inspiration and tips for your own yard.
You can purchase tickets online at The Garden Conservancy

The LA Open Days Tour takes place on May8

Weekly Weeds: Gr....ass..

Thursday, April 15, 2010

If your grass is ass then you should be in clover…or sedge. Or maybe a volute path of seashells, a collection of fruit trees, an art installation, a mixed media labyrinth of stone, pebble, perennials. After all, the 11th commandment is not "Thou shalt grow Bermuda grass lawns."

Of course if it's geometric green perfection you crave in your front yard (as in this Howard Bjornson photo) then lawn alternatives may not be for you. Be heartened though, as scientists are working on less water/less guilt varieties of grass. If you must have your lawn, keep it as high as your mower setting will allow and let the nitrogen-rich clippings fall as they may. Also know that there are many new sprinklers that are more efficient in terms of water usage and application. No more watering the sidewalk!

The idea that the perfect lawn might be a questionable pursuit first came to me upon reading Michael Pollan’s Second Nature: A Gardener's Education. The grass-rant part (though he is ultimately a graceful, measured writer) is nicely summed up in his shorter article, "Why Mow? The Case Against Lawns."
Lawn–from launde, (glade), in old French–was originally just a grassy clearing between forest trees that was generally kept low by grazing animals. In Tudor England it became a darling of the wealthy and a status symbol. These lawns of meadow grasses and herbs such as chamomile needed an awful lot of sheep, or laborers with scythes, to deliver the evenly shorn velvety field of green that pleased the gentry. Versailles had its tapis vert, too. So, it evolved.

In 1830 Edwin Budding, a Gloucestershire mill worker, observed a textile-shearing machine and had his Eureka moment: Ooo arr, that be sumut wot thee cud use in t’garden – tis better’n t’awld scythe… The lawn mower was born.
Thank you Edwin for bringing grass to the masses!
If you like plants, then it is really a no-brainer to start encroaching on your turf area with interesting alternatives. If you don’t like 'em, the no-grass benefits of less water, chemicals, time and money spent are the big motivators. And guess what? Many cities will pay you to re-think your grass requirements! Check with your local utility or municipality for grants and rebates.
It’s really not that bad losing the lawn, especially if you do it a bit at a time. First, deflower your pristine lawn by adding some flowers–maybe throw some white clover seed about. If you're feeling alright with this sweetly-scented, nitrogen-fixing, bee-friendly stuff, then cut into your manicured green swath with a nice big border full of generous perennials that will keep you in posies year round. From there it’s an easy segue to a bit of hardscape, a meadow, a spiral meditation path.
A lawn does serve a purpose in that it creates a negative space that can often enhance the overall design. It is also child and game friendly (although I do wonder what children played on for the thousands of years before turf grass came about.) So keep a little bit if you need to, or find a good aesthetic substitute for Bermuda grass–John Greenlee’s river of grass below is a beautiful example.

Weekly Weeds c/o
Nancy Knapp
Weeds Garden & Interior Design

Silverlake Farms

Silverlake Farms is an urban oasis in the trendy neighborhood of Silverlake.  The "Farm" offers workshops and classes on urban farming and vegetable gardening, cooking classes (so you know what to do with those awesome veggies that you raise) and a CSA (community supported agriculture) program for those of us too lazy to farm but willing to support other organic and local farmers.  Their Urban Farming workshop on May 22 is free - as a participant you help out a local farm, connect with your community and pick up valuable tips on cultivating your own patch of shangri la.

Her name was Lola...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On a recent perusal around the duty free shops at the Hong Kong airport, I came across Marc Jacob's new perfume Lola.  A great heady mixture of rose, fuschia peony and geranium (who knew that geraniums had a smell?).  I think it's time for a spring fragrance makeover...

She was a showgirl....


Monday, April 12, 2010

The new couch was looking kind of lonely and grey sitting in our big living room.  Fortunately I scored some great throw pillows that happened to match while in HK.  My parents got them on their recent trip to India!


Check out

the new logo!

Do Hit!

The newest fad in the design world is designer DIY furniture. 
How do you feel about Marign Van de Poll's Do Hit Chair?


Sunday, April 4, 2010

A bit too tired to upload photos of the newly painted guest room and newly hung guestroom drapery. Off to China for a week, but will show them off upon my return.
I leave you with a photo of Thom Felicia's beautiful NYC living room. So serene. Love the painting. Wish that I could do grasscloth wallcovering, but even if I could afford it, I have a feeling it would turn into a built-in scratching post.


Friday, April 2, 2010

the new solar shade I installed this morning in our study all by my lonesome. Who said girls weren't handy?
Although next up the one twice as long.... just need to wait for the second shipment of missing hardware from Smith and Noble.

Weekly Weeds

What happens when you let an artichoke go to seed?
From its silvery green foliage, a stunning
thistle flower is born.

Its cousin, the Cardoon, is equally striking flower-wise and
makes an excellent gratin too.
In fact, both are edible members of the thistle family, Cynareae.
This large tribe of plants can be beautiful, delicious, healing and downright evil - just like any family, really. Thistles have been around for centuries, symbolically representing nobility in
character and birth.
The unassuming Scots Thistle, Cynareae Onopordum, purportedly saved Scotland in the 1200s when an invading army of Norsemen tried to sneak up on sleeping Scotsmen. Salvation came when the mighty Vikings stepped on the spiky flowers and understandably let out a few loud "faens" and "dritts" (best not to say these words in front of little Norwegian children and old and proper Norwegian ladies.)
Ask a country person what they think about thistles and you might want to cover your ears. Canada Thistle, Cynareae Cirsium, with its spiny leaves and over-enthusiastic roaming, is listed in a majority of countries as an invasive species, though it looks fairly innocent here.

The Contrary Farmer speaks of it quite eloquently in his piece, “Famous Weeds I Wish I Had Not Met”
Heed his warning and do NOT plant this in your garden.
More useful would be the Milk Thistle, Cynareae Silybum Adans. If you happen to ingest a Death Cap mushroom, you can increase your chances of survival substantially by following up with a dose of the active ingredient silymarin in this thistle which studies suggest prevents and repairs damage to the liver from toxic chemicals and medications.
Simple mnemonic device: Eat poison mushroom = Silly Bum
Milk thistle is also supposed to be good for protecting the liver from an excess of alcohol, good news for those with a lush disposition.
And finally, I love the Globe Thistle, Cynareae Echinops. You might notice it in a certain logo...

It's hard to decide if these bristly balls are more Jurassic or post-apocalyptic, but either way, I find their surreal quality utterly appealing.
A grouping of these sublimely colored plants makes an effective focal point. If you have a bold streak, go Triffid-y and plant the Brobdingnagian artichokes and cardoons.
And you might have something to eat in an apocalypse.

by Nancy Knapp
Weeds Garden & Interior Design


45 Three Modern Vintage is having a SALE!!!

1051 1/2 S. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

examples of some of their wares

Friday 4/9 2 pm - 6 pm
Sat 4/10 8 am to 4 pm

Breakfast vignette

I like where this is going.

We were looking for a napkin holder, but has anyone noticed how all napkin holders are super ugly, functional and just scream "NAPKIN HOLDER!"? So what better use for the Nambe collection than as a napki holder and fruit bowl. And I like the addition of the Jonathan Adler fishie shakers.
Breakfast table to be replaced by this faux Saarinen IKEA table and chairs to be changed out to the Eames Eiffel Tower chairs in our dining room. Ceiling fan to be replaced by this arteriors pendant (just need to install it!)