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“Eames: The Architect and The Painter” Film Review

eames the architect and the painter

Last week I was in Los Angeles and visited the LACMA California Design, 1930-1965 “Living In A Modern Way” exhibit and not surprisingly Ray and Charles Eames’ work was prominently displayed - down to a replica of their house filled with the actual contents of their house. With the exhibit fresh in my mind, I sat down to watch Eames: The Architect and The Painter.

Filmmakers Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey have made the first film about the Eames since their death. Narrated by James Franco, Eames: The Architect and The Painter takes us into the Renaissance-style design studio in Venice Beach, California. The documentary includes stunning archival materials from love letters to photographs, from films to artifacts: Interviews with Eames family members, designers from the Eames studio and industry leaders fill in the gaps.

I’m a huge fan of the husband-wife design team and when my husband and I finally took a step away from IKEA, our first real furniture purchases included Eames chairs. Even though I’ve done some reading on the Eames, I learned so much from this documentary. Eames: The Architect and The Painter gives you the full picture - from the romance, design processes, innovations and breadth of projects - you are able to view the Eames body of work in a larger context. Whether you have an interest in the Eames, Modern Design or creativity, Eames: The Architect and The Painter is inspiring. It’s the kind of film that I want to keep in my collection and watch over and over again - it will invigorate and inspire you to create.

Eames: The Architect and The Painter opens in San Francisco this Friday December 2 at the Balboa Theater. For information on other cities please visit the playdate list online. You can also pre-order the DVD, which releases on December 13 - the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the creatives in your life!

Posted in art, CULTURE, Design, film, life, news, Reviews Comments (2)

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Qream with a Q: Pharrell’s Liqueur for Queens


Qream is made for a Queen and her court of friends

Pharrell Williams has done many good deeds for the ladies: produced songs that make our booties shake, sung in that sexy falsetto to have us swoon, and kept himself looking right to make me just shiver when I see him (yes, I have a crush on him. No frontin’ here).  Now he can add yet another accomplishment; with his newest endeavor, Qream with a Q, ladies who love their liqueur on the sweeter side can thank this man once again for giving us something to love.

Known for his collaborations, Pharrell stepped away from music and fashion to team up with Diageo, the world’s leading spirits producer, to create a drink meant for indulgence.  The luscious flavors, Strawberry Crème and Peach Crème, just scream sexy.  If he’s putting his name on a drink, it will have to live up to it, and everything from the taste to the bottle has his stamp of approval.

I received a bottle of Peach Qream for review and I couldn’t wait to pop it open.  The bottle design looked majestic with a golden faceted topper and glass embossed with royal crowns and fleurs-de-lis.  Fancy!  But before I opened it to take a taste, I read the back of the bottle:

“Inspired by European Royalty, I created this silky drink to celebrate the beautiful, independent and sophisticated women of today.  It is a truly elegant experience for the modern day queen and her court of friends.”
- Pharrell Williams

This is a drink that I needed to share with my girls so we could “live deliciously,” as Pharrell says.  So I waited to pop it open and organized a birthday celebration for one of my queens.  In spirit of the peach crème flavor, the rest of the menu had elements of peach: a savory peaches and cream pasta, a moist tres leches cake with peaches, and of course, the sweet, ripe fruit on its own.  If I wanted to, I could have incorporated Qream into my menu, as there are even recipes for cocktails and dessert using the liqueur, but I saved the drink for the special after-dinner toast.


Toasting to Elegance

My ladies gathered around as the birthday girl had the honors of opening the bottle and serving her court of friends a glass.  The anticipation kept us giddy, as we swirled around our drinks and almost became intoxicated by the waft of the sweet-smelling spirit.  We each took a slice of peach and toasted to everything that Pharrell scribed on the bottle.  After our first taste, the brief moment of silence was stopped by a harmonious sound of satisfaction.  Mr. Williams could have sampled our moans.

The silky drink felt light and smooth, with a peachy sweetness that had my taste buds asking for more.  The aftertaste was almost as delightful, leaving a delicate vanilla flavor in my mouth.  My girls around me, even those that prefer their liquor straight up, all agreed that it tasted delicious as they hurried to fill up another glass.

After a few refills, we caught the giggles.  Although considered a “girly drink”, don’t mistake it for a weak one.  It has a 12.5% ABV, and aside from the sweet taste, the vodka flavor is clearly present, yet not overpowering.  The drink is pleasurable by itself, but I would still love to try Qream mixed with other liqueurs to create other concoctions.  My friends are curious about the Strawberry Crème flavor, so we might have to arrange for another night with my queens in my court, and maybe that time I’ll make a little dessert.  Qream puffs?


Peaches and Qream

Qream retails just below $30, which is a good price to pay for an elegant evening with the sophisticated ladies in your life.


Image layout by C-Rocka.

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My Latest Obsession: Elbow

My Latest Obsession - Elbow

My Latest Obsession - Elbow

So, I’ve been obsessed with Elbow for just about four years now, after one of my friends made me listen to “Grounds for Divorce.” One listen and I was hooked. The voice. The sound. The lyrics.

Haven’t heard of Elbow? I’m sure you’ve heard the masterpiece I just mentioned. Still doesn’t sound familiar? Listen to this clip with the BBC Orchestra. It will bring tears to your eyes and make the hair stand up on your arms and the back of your neck (especially around the 3:13 mark). It’s that good.

Earlier this year, when I was in London, I tried to go see Elbow for the first time…in their native Manchester, no doubt. But, plans didn’t work out, and my hope to see them live were foiled until a good friend of mine told me that they were going to be performing at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park. I used to live literally right across the street from GG Park and never once attended the HSB. Bluegrass really isn’t my thing, hardly strictly and free concert or not, but there was NO WAY that I was going to let this opportunity pass me by!

I was not disappointed. Although their set was only one hour long, it was a memorable one, and one that included two violins (LOVED that). They were pitch perfect and clear as a bell, a difficult feat when you’re outside and there are other stages around you. You could hear how each individual instrument was layered into each song, which is something that I really love about this band and it was incredible to hear this magic taking place on-stage. I’ve also developed a bit of a crush on Guy Garvey, as he knows how to work a crowd, in a very endearing way. He was constantly pointing people out, would tell the crowd to do things like “tickle the air (with their fingers)” and if you felt stupid doing that, it was ok. Do it anyways. How can you not love that?!

Their set featured music off their last two albums, Build a Rocket Boys! and The Seldom Seen Kid. Surprisingly, they played two of my favorites off The Seldom Seen Kid, “Bones of You” and “Grounds for Divorce” early in the set, but I rather liked that they didn’t go predictable by playing their most popular hit stateside (Grounds) as their closer. The selections off their new album, “The Birds”, “Lippy Kids” and “Open Arms”, which was especially beautiful with the string accompaniment. They closed the set with “One Day Like This” which was the absolute perfect choice to close the day, as the sun was going down behind Guy and the rest of Elbow.

Do yourself a favor this week and give them a try if they are new to you, or spend some time rediscovering them if you already know who they are.

Until next week (and my next obsession)!

Layout by: Michelle

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From LA to the Bay: West Coast Page Flipping

I find whole other worlds in books. When I need a break from this hectic one I call my own I stick my nose in a book. I have a Nook and can download books, but there is nothing like hitting a bookstore and sliding your fingers down the various book spines until one catches your eye.

Barnes & Nobles is cool, but I love small shops that make you want to browse and linger. If you are looking for a new book, somewhere to kill time or a gift for a friend, check out one of the great spots below.

Dog Eared Books on 900 Valencia St San Francisco CA is one of my favorites with sister stores Phoenix (Noe Valley) & Red Hill (Bernal Hill)  that I haven’t checked out but seem just as great. The chill staff that is always a huge help, makes great book recommends.

Pegasus Books in Berkeley (locations on: Shattuck, Solano ave, & College Ave in Oakland) is another shop I like to visit. I have only been to the Shattuck shop and can always locate great last minute gifts with a little help.  Near BART it’s a great stop after a nice walk in Berkley.

In sunny Los Angeles I love finding shops that let me some enjoy sunshine  and Pages (904 Manhattan Ave) in Manhattan Beach lets me feed my book worm and beach bunny all in one trip! A block up from the beach you get the best of all worlds, sun, sand, a good read and maybe a cone from the Manhattan Creamery. Doesn’t get too much better.

Unfortunately it’s on a rare weekend day that I get to go and chill on the beach. I usually find myself in the bustle of downtown L.A. and when I need to escape I sneak over to The Last Bookstore on 453 S. Spring St. They recently moved into a bigger location which just means more hours lost in their aisles. They have a great assortment and amazing prices.

Almost all the above stores buy books so go in get some cash or trade for a new wonder. Donations are also accepted.

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Ball & Chain Kind of Love

Love Crimes Of Kabul is an engaging documentary that allows you into the life of three women that are in a Kabul prison. We witness their interaction with inmates and family as they await trial and verdicts - not only legal, but also in love.

Love being the culprit for most of the crimes is a sorry ally when trying to win in court. I had quite a tug-of-war between heart and mind while watching this movie. I’m a romantic, but knowing that love never loves you, I also believe in being practical and realistic. Relationships take more than butterflies and smiles.

Love is, however, a beautiful experience; to think that people are punished for feeling such a human emotion saddens me a little. I would love to believe that these restrictions help lessen some of the issues that plague our society - teen pregnancy, divorce, lack of family union - but they don’t. It brings with it a whole wave of added disturbances. People don’t stop making human decisions - and yes, that includes mistakes.

What struck me most was the lack of conviction these women had. Whether they believed what they did was a crime or not, the air of doubt was thick in their choices. You could sense that they knew that they were there paying for something, but couldn’t quite put their finger on what it was. Sure they could recite the law that was broken, but they couldn’t tell you why it was wrong. In most of the cases shown, both men and women were incarcerated. However, the men were treated like misbehaved children who were scolded, while the women were talked to and treated like real criminals.

I’m not knocking the moral standings of a country or religion; however, I do feel that people should be given the freedom to decide what is right for them. The disparity between the choices and freedoms offered to men and women is immense. I don’t think that men and women are the same; we are not. But our differences in no way make one gender inferior to the other.

The regulations set on these women push them to extremes and only force them to take brash actions to try to get what seems like a positive outcome. One of the girls turned herself and the guy in because she had been involved with him and was scared he wouldn’t marry her. When society instills in you the fear of being outcast to the point that you are willing to submit yourself to imprisonment to avoid “shame,” there is a need to reevaluate. To top that situation, in the footage with her family, shame was mentioned maybe once. What was brought up repeatedly was money and how she had ruined the possibility of getting anywhere financially.

I understand that if I lived within the same circumstance, my point of view may be different and our “liberties” may seem to be outrages.  However, from where I stand I cannot help but feel that there is a great injustice being done. I have made my share of bad decisions, a couple that disappointed my father and others that angered my mother, but they were mine and I am thankful for them; I have learned and grown. I know better and hence do better. I would never want that taken away. Would you?

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