Dogs and Chesterfields, better combination than cats and club chairs.

I've always had a soft spot for old club chairs and Chesterfield couches. Something about them just lures you in for hours, like a throne, and makes you want to throw on a pair of velvet slippers and perhaps a mustache just long enough to twirl while sipping rare scotch.  I have nowhere near enough room in my apartment for a grand, long Chesterfield, though I dream that one day it will be the centerpiece of my future living room. In the mean time I've acquired two fine club chairs.

This one used to be in the house I grew up in. When my dad moved out this summer, everything went to storage.  He happily let me go choose anything I needed, which clearly included this club chair.  I have no idea how old it is, but I can tell you that it aged a hell of a lot faster than it should have at our house. We had quite a few cats growing up: Cuddles (ran away), Tiger (eaten by coyote), Max (eaten by coyote), Minette (freaked out and disappeared), Butterscotch (died of diabetes), Rocky (badass got killed in a fight with a skunk. The skunk died too), and Spuzzy, Bunny, and Muffin, all still cool kitties.
We tried to distract them with fancy scratch towers and fountain water dispensers, but no, somehow the cats always ignored that and decided to rid their tensions on the ancient leather chairs and silk drapes. Here is the result. I still love how tattered it is:

The second chair I got at the Rose Bowl flea market. I lifted up the cushion and saw a Ralph Lauren Home tag and wasn't going to even bother asking the price, assuming I wouldn't have enough cash left for it anyway. When the dude told me it was $150 I just could not leave without it. I had no idea where to fit this huge ass chair (4 x 3.5 ft) in my tiny place. I needed three people to carry it from my truck to the apartment, and I just wish we had filmed us trying to get it through the door. I managed to make it work out after a little rearranging.

I also took a cue from my dad, who, on the other chair, covered what remained of the cushions with awesome vintage Suzanis. I got a few more Kilim rugs from storage (score!) and draped one over the faux suede cushions, giving it a lot more character in my opinion.  I recently looked up the average price of one of these chairs on Ralph Lauren Home and started laughing out loud when I saw the prices for similar chairs, ranging from $5,000-8,000 (double score!!)

 A few more to dream about...

One Man's Trash...

This may sound strange. Over the past year I've received quite a few gifts from anonymous strangers. I've never actually seen anyone do it, I usually just come home and something has been thrown over my wall or left by my front door.  I remember the first time it happened. I came home from a night out and there were two rusty lawn chairs sitting by my door with a scribbled note. "TO SASHA FROM A SECRET ADMIRER."
I later found out it was Bob, a nice older man who lives in the neighborhood and was also friends with the former tenant. The first time I met Bob on the beach he mistook me for my sister.  He was building a portal to the fourth dimension in the form of a large mound of sand on which he would sit in lotus position. Bob likes to feed the seagulls every day and wears aluminum foil under his cap "You know, for the aliens. Just in case." That was the only gift mystery ever solved.

I've also received a Moroccan tile side table, a kite in the shape of an octopus, a black folding wooden table, an unfinished painting of chairs, a tatami mat, a drawing of our house, and a rusty old file cabinet. Some I kept, some I threw out.

This cabinet I chose to keep. Initially it was a sad gray color, but I slapped on a few coats of blue paint I had left over from painting my table. After a few months I got bored and decided to turn it into a new project.  I thought back to an old trunk I had when I was little that was completely covered with old pieces of lace and drawings. The one element I always remembered was a card with a picture of a mermaid. Underneath her was written "La Sirena." After a little Googling I found out it was a Mexican loteria card, and found a few decks after scouring Olvera Street in downtown LA. I arranged and glued the cards using rubber cement, then I wanted to finish it with a heavy gloss to age the cards a bit and seal everything in. My sister, who is a painter and pro with polyurethane, and also my glossing mentor, told me that it would take about thirty layers to achieve the glossiness I wanted. Ughhh...
When I start a project, I get very impatient and want to get it finished as soon as possible. So I layered that stuff on, thick. It crackled in the sun and got lumpy because I kept adding more on to even it out. I learned my lesson after a layer or two and stopped playing around with it, and really let it dry for a few days between each coat. As careful as I tried to be, the occasional drip mark or smudge was just inevitable. I didn't wind up doing thirty coats.


 Drove back from Colorado and had some fun with the new camera. Stopped in Vegas on the way back.

Day One with the GOPRO HD camera

SNOWBALL Festival 2011

Pretty Lights
Lucky me! During my winter escape to Colorado I got a Coachella warm-up! This weekend was the first annual Snowball Festival in Vail Valley. When I told my dad (who has been coming here since the 70's, living here on and off) about it, the first thing he said was "You are so lucky. Nothing used to go on here."

I was most interested in Friday and Sunday's lineup.  Saturday's headliner was Bassnectar, which would require far too many drugs for me to have a good time. No thanks. Friday we arrived just in time to grab a drink and catch Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I had never bothered to check them out, despite a few recommendations. Well, what a pleasant surprise! I didn't realize they had so many jams! They gave an awesome energetic performance despite the frigid temperatures.

Speaking of the cold. I had no idea what to expect. When my friend picked me up Friday I brought two pairs of boots and two jackets into the car just for recommendations. I wound up choosing Sorels and a fur coat, which kept me warm and fuzzy, as well as a few other people apparently.  About halfway into Edward Sharpe's set I abandoned my friends and sneaked into the tent across from the main stage to Diplo's set, where I somehow managed to snake my way near the front. This tent was VERY warm compared to the crowd outside that I had been in a few minutes earlier.  Had to suck up the fur coat, cause I didn't want to dance and carry that thing.... And the petting began.  I suddenly found myself surrounded by kids in tank tops with dilated pupils, water bottles in hand, saying to me "You did this on purpose didn't you!" and "You are my sooooo my best friend." I was happy to make their night.

Pretty Lights followed on the main stage, giving his home crowd of Colorado a lengthy, totally dance worthy set. When I say dance, I personally was skidding over a patch of ice while my body was supported by the rest of the crowd, swaying wherever they went. It almost felt like upright crowd surfing. This was where the Sorels came in. Icy patches, puddles of slush, my feet were SAFE. Those boots have mad traction! It did take a while to find them here in Vail. I finally found them at Sports Authority in the men's section. It was the only place I could find them without fake fur and pink detailing all over.
I digress... Pretty Lights ended with a pretty sick remix of Kanye's "All of the Lights" that I hope I can find soon. (hint hint to anyone out there)

Pretty Lights

Skipped Saturday.

Sunday we got started a bit late and arrived at the end of Afroman's set. (I know all the words to Colt 45 by heart.) I did manage to catch part of it as we walked past the tent though.


We did, however, make it in time for the band I was most excited to see... Miami Horror! They're an awesome electro-disco-ey band from Melbourne that is so fun to dance to.

Miami Horror
Miami Horror


This is NOT one of the pineapples I grew back in January, but one I planted at the beach AGES ago and literally forgot about. Not bad eh? It works!