This evening I looked out the patio door and noticed our HUGE (like, over six feet long) icicles shining in the sunset. I had been meaning to photograph them, and this seemed the perfect opportunity. I threw on my boots and grabbed by camera.
I am obsessed with pinecones. I have this platter of them in the living room, a tall glass vase filled with them in the bedroom and another platter in the guest room. So festive and pretty!
While browsing through the latest issue of Sunset magazine, a fun holiday card craft project caught my eye. Their version was a simple, modern Christmas tree design, but I thought I could make mine a little more interesting, yet still be minimal and modern.
Start by using a hole punch to punch notches on the sides of blank notecards. Try diagonals or sets of horizontals.
Chose one or two colors of embroydery floss. I also used fine silver string to give a little sparkle.
Tie the floss around to the back of the card, letting it a little slack so the card is not warped. Wind the floss around into the notches as many times as you wish, changing colors if you'd like.
It's as easy as that, and I think they look really neat.
Matt snapped this neat photo.
This was our view from our hotel room (above and two below). We stayed at The Ace Hotel, a very hip place with a lot of very hip people. We kept joking that the people there would find out that we were not hip enough and kick us out.
On our way back from Joshua Tree we stopped at Cactus Mart for the 59c "dig your own cactus" --little seedling cacti you could pluck out of the soil and plant in a pot or mini-garden. Fun!!
As I mentioned, our hotel was very cool. They had lots of really rad modern furniture all over. I especially loved these outdoor chairs by the public fireplace areas.
There were lots of neat birds there too. We saw a ton of hummingbirds all over, and espcially at the Moorten Botanical Garden. This large bird was in a tree at The Salton Sea.
The first few days, we had to get around on foot or on sweet aqua Electra bikes we could rent for free from the hotel. One day, we rode downtown for some shopping and sightseeing. That was fun!
There are miles of beautiful roadway within the park. Drive your car a little ways, park in the designated areas, get out and walk around, and climb some rocks if you feel brave.
We saw one little lizard while we were here. It was too fast to snap a picture of. We also saw a small lizard outside the Kaufmann House, and one scurrying across the sidewalk by the hotel. I caught a glimpse of a roadrunner too! Being from Wisconsin, desert wildlife is very exciting to me!
This place is a rock climbers paradise. We say many, many people up very high on these rocks.
This gives you an idea of how huge these rocks are, stacked on top of each other. Very cool!
As another adventure, on our last day we decided to go see the Salton Sea. It was HOT here! We didn't stay long, because of the heat, but we did get some good photos and learned a lot about it. The Salton Sea is an actual salt water sea located directly on the San Andreas Fault line. It is far below sea level--the deepest part of the Sea is 5 feet higher than the lowest point in Death Valley! Long story short, the Sea as it is today, started to form in 1905 when heavy rainfall and snow melt caused the Colorado River to bust at the seams at the Alamo Canal. Over the next few years, the entire volume of the Colorado emptied into the Salton Sink, forming the Salton Sea.
The Salton Sea area used to be a bustling tourist attraction in the mid-1920's, due to its abundant fishing and water recreation, but has since been nearly completely abandoned. We didn't see any, but there are ghost towns all around the Sea.
Every year, the Sea loses more water than it gains, thereby becoming more and more salty, and more and more inhospitable to fish and other wildlife. The Sea is a big attraction to migrating birds, and at one time, it was reported that 4 million birds were on the Sea at one time. The Sea is also becoming more and more polluted as the water concentrates and more waste water runoff is entering it.
What looks like beautiful white sand from afar is actually crushed shell and bone lining the perimeter of the Sea, due to the high number of creatures that perish from the harsh saline environment.
The view of the mountains above the Sea is beautiful.
I'm so glad we decided to check this place out on our last day. It is very unique and has an incredible story behind it. Hopefully, something is done to clean it up and rescue it from becoming so polluted as to no longer support the millions of birds and other animals that use this Sea as an oasis in the desert.
Check out Wikipedia for info on the Salton Sea.
For our next adventure in Palm Springs, Matt and I took a self-guided modern residential architecture tour. We picked up a special map at the Visitor's Center and off we went.
Holy crap! It's right there on the street! We couldn't believe it. I've seen the house in books, and drooled over it many times, but to see it in person, I felt starstruck!
The landscaping is absolutely beautiful.
Edgar Kaufmann Sr. also hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design Fallingwater for him 10 years before (around 1936). He toyed with the idea of hiring him again for a West coast residence, but decided against it. He wanted something lighter and more luxurious than Fallingwater or, say, Taliesin West.
Seeing this house in person was amazing. Obviously, we just saw it from the driveway (there were small signs warning of an "armed response" to any trespassers), but to two modern architecture nerds, it was enough!