Posts Categorized: travel

Crafts + Design + Friends of Lars + Life + Party + travel / Thursday, 6 Mar 2014

Meet Make Do Part 1

This, my friends, is how life should be:
Palm Springs pool with palm trees
Am I right? Sun, pool, oversized blow up swan. Bliss.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen a lot of pictures about the most magical retreat I attended last week called Meet Make Do sponsored by Bing.  It was a craft bloggers getaway organized by three wonderful ladies: Brittni of Paper and Stitch, Kelly of Studio DIY, and Chelsea of Lovely Indeed. They’ve been planning it for months and months and by some mystical power I made it onto their invite list. And I’m sure glad I did! 
The whole premise was for craft bloggers to come together to just make stuff. It’s thanks to the kind folks of Bing, particularly Katie and Natalie, who made it possible. Guys, I have to say that Bing is THE BOMB. They brought us a whole bunch of Surfaces for us to use as we researched our projects and I have to say that having been familiar with it for a bit now, I find the features super helpful. There’s even a travel feature that provides great info for on the go so you better believe we used it for all things Palm Springs.
As a kid my family would go to Palm Springs for a little vacation (which now I find a bit odd to travel to the desert when you live at the beach, but whatever). BUT, I didn’t know that Palm Springs was cool. We would only go to a resort and swam in the pool the whole time. I had NO idea that there were amazing houses and shops and an amazing mid-century vibe. I’ve been puzzled over the years why anyone goes there on holiday. And now I know. This place is the unreal, bizarre even. Beautiful, perfectly preserved houses and the most phenomenal shops. If only I had oodles of money to spend…
So, I arrived to this
scarf
…and I thought, “really?” 
And then I saw the house
Palm Springs mid century home with yellow door
and I was all, “Yup,” I really do.
And then I saw the crafting closet filled with all sorts of goodies that are way cooler than anything I have
closet for crafts
and then this fabric happened to me:
fabric sorting
Like Project Runway, we had a limited amount of time to create something so my anxiety levels were HIGH! I learned that I am a thinker. I dwell on things. Usually I don’t even create unless I have a really stellar idea. But here I just kind of dilly dallied (and ate and chatted) until I realized that here I am in this beautiful place with an amazing photographer, the wonderful Mary Costa,  who WANTS to shoot my projects. Then it was time to get down to business. I went through the fabrics from the brand new Fabric Store in LA, which I would be at ALL the time if I lived in LA (speaking of…why don’t I???) and Melanie from You are my Fave got down with the crepe paper from Shop Sweet Lulu.
crafting with You are my fave
Jenn Elliott of Scout blog got her craft on making a beautiful tablescape with Ashley of Sugar and Cloth. She even stitched some napkins. Erin of House of Earnest got down with the Surface to research her lovely projects.
Palm Springs crafting retreat
I mean, look at the details: huge beach balls, bright colors, SUN! I’m dreaming about it as I type while looking at the grey Utah skies.
meet make do
I was off sugar for two months and sadly it coincided with this trip so I didn’t get to try the cups of cookie dough from Edoughable. Saliva drops.
cups of cookie dough
And, we got a fabulous Swag bag full of all these goodies. I mean…look at it all! Wonderful items from Almond Milk LA, Coveted Things, Etta & Billie, Fat Eye Design, Fletcher and Fox, Landis Carey, Lovely Pigeon, M. Greenwood Jams (delish!!!), Michelle Dwight Designs, Mr. and Mrs. P, Oh So Pretty, Seoul Little, Striped Cat Studio, Twedle Dee Designs, We Love Citrus, Wind and Willow Home, World Reclaimed
goodies
And the group of ladies. Now, it’s rare to bring together a bunch of crafting ladies who are so kind and generous and overall good people. I went in knowing most of them only as an admirer, but I came away feeling like I had gained genuine friends. That’s rare, right? 
craft bloggers in Palm Springs
pool in Palm Springs with blow up swan

And I’ll leave you on this image…because again, this is how life should be. More tomorrow. You won’t want to miss it but find out the reason why we suddenly had to get up and leave this paradise. Dum dum DUM!

all of this wonderful photography is by the stellar Mary Costa, who I wish I could bottle up and take with me wherever I go.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest

flowers + Life + travel / Monday, 1 Jul 2013

Top destinations for flower lovers

I’ve been extremely blessed to see some beautiful places throughout the world. I like to say that I don’t like to travel, I just like beautiful places–traveling is my vehicle for getting there. I love beautiful places so much that I’ve prioritized it over other things like an amazing wardrobe, furniture, and other fun delights and securities. I took my first trip to Europe when was 12 on tour with the Orange County Junior Orchestra after joining because I heard they were going to France and England (oh yeah, and I guess I liked the music too). I had always been fascinated by the books I read as a girl that were set in beautiful places like the brooding moors in Sherlock Holmes and the floral nooks of The Secret Garden. After a few more trips to Europe, living on the East Coast, and then finally marrying a Dane and living in Denmark, I feel like I am only a bit more conversant in beautiful sites to see. I know there is so much more out there.

Beautiful places, particularly gardens and old estates, make my heart burst. I didn’t realize how much a part of me they were until I noticed that other people couldn’t go on a run without stopping at every corner to look at the flowers. (That, and I hate running so I’ll stop whenever I can). I also started to notice that I love flowers. Like, I REALLY love flowers. I love floral fabrics, silk flowers, paper flowers, flower rugs, flower pillows, real flowers. Flowers everywhere. Perhaps I have an abnormal condition?

With that flowery talk out of the way, I’d love to get a list going of the top places to go for flower lovers. I’ve asked a couple of people who I know have a similar affinity to flowers to share some of their favorites too, florist Sarah Winward and garden expert and BYU Museum of Art director, Mark Magleby. Additionally, I’d love to hear what YOU have to say. I haven’t found a comprehensive list anywhere, so I’m thinking this could be a help to all of us and help us create a bucket list.

My suggestions

  1. Monet’s Gardens at Giverny in France. As cliche as it is, Monet is my man.
  2. Tage Andersen’s residence and gardens at Gunillaberg in Sweden. You know I’ve now written about it like 5 times
  3. Carl Larsson‘s Sundborn home and garden in Sweden. He’s also one of my favorites.
  4. Karen Blixen‘s home and museum in Denmark (I went last summer and just realized I haven’t written about it yet)
  5. The lavender fields of Provence (I just missed it last year and I was devastated)
  6. Stourhead in England. I nearly died of beauty there. It’s mostly just gardens. This is also where the new Pride and Prejudice was filmed.
  7. Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. I think this might be the loveliest place in the world. I lived a few streets from it and had a season pass. That, and the cemetery next door, are pinch-yourself-I’m-dreaming worthy in spring and fall. Here’s a little post. I also love that it was started by two women who just loved flowers and gardens. Read more about it here.
  8. Hillwood Estate in Washington DC. The gardens are delightful and the interiors are crazy ornate.

Sarah makes the loveliest arrangements. She’s got an impeccable eye.
  1. Around the end of June, purple lupin are blooming all over Iceland, they practically cover every hillside. They are up to four feet tall and the dark purple color looks amazing against the green mossy landscape.
  2. Israel has red anemone that cover lots of hillsides in the spring. I think this is so memorable for me because a red anemone isn’t the type of flower that I am used to seeing grow in the wild.
  3. Jasmine vine in New Zealand completely covers jungle areas. The smell is intoxicating and I wanted to clip entire walls of it to bring home. 
  4. Locally in Utah, I loe the Mt. Aire trail up Millcreek canyon. In the late summer there are wildflowers and butterflies all over the trailside.

Mark Magleby, Director of the BYU Museum of Art
Mark was my thesis instructor during my undergrad at BYU. I went on study abroad with him and his family to England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands about a decade ago. He specializes in 18th century art and architecture and his scholarship focused on the gardens of Stourhead as well as the creation of a database of English garden history. You can see why I would turn to him, non?
  1. The greatest of all the English flower gardens may be Sissinghurst Castle garden with is color coordinated garden rooms. 
  2. Another would be the kitchen gardens at Rousham, which are riotous with flowers in the spring and summer. The most famous parts of the garden are designed by William Kent. 
  3. I also think that the herbaceous boarders are excellent at both Hampton Court and Kew Palace. 

    Now, what about you? What are your pics? Please write them in the comments below. I want to visit all of them!

    top image from here

    Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest

    Home + Interiors + Life + Scandinavia + travel / Friday, 24 May 2013

    Gunillaberg part 2

    Have you put Gunillaberg on your bucket list yet? Well, prepared to do so after this post. If you love some beautiful interiors, you’re in for a treat. 
    If you’re just joining Lars now, I posted part one about our roadtrip to Gunillaberg, Sweden, summer palace of floral artist Tage Andersen (my creative hero). I showed the lovely grounds and animals in part one and today I’m showing the interior of the palace itself, which Mr. Andersen designed from the furniture to the flooring. It acts as both a house and a gallery. He exhibits artwork by a few different artists.
    This chair in the office is my favorite.
    And let’s talk about flooring. Because the painted wooden floors rocked my world.
    A sofa that he designed with triangle pillows, of course.

     A close-up of the window-paned linen bedding. How gorgeously simple is it?

    Beautiful stone bathtub.
    And a selfie in the three-way mirror.
    ROOTS ALERT! Or as we call it nowadays, ombre.

    Guys, there’s more! As you daydream about this place this weekend, be excited for the next installment, which I’ll show more of the architecture of the grounds.

    Happy weekend! 

    Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest

    garden + Life + Scandinavia + travel / Tuesday, 21 May 2013

    Gunillaberg, Sweden Part 1

    When I found out that floral designer/sculpture/magic maker Tage Andersen had a summer palace in Sweden, I knew I had to go with my mom when she came to visit me in Denmark last summer (yes, I’m THAT behind on blog posts). It’s about 4 hours from Copenhagen by car and it will blow your mind. You must go here before you die.
    It’s called Gunillaberg and it was owned by the first Swedish representative to America before America was America. Mr. Andersen bought it a few years ago and has turned it into a museum? wonderland? farm? gallery? All those magical things. This year there’s a brand new orangerie even. I’m going to walk you through. You start by entering through two topiaries. Topiaries mean that you know it’s gonna be good.
    Then you pass some cows on both sides and I didn’t get any good photos but there were then dozens of potbelly pigs. POTBELLY PIGS!
    Then, you pass this beautiful barn

     before coming to this little hut draped in burlap and checkerboard. It’s the sign-in, of course.

    Mr. Andersen has created a number of topiary courtyards. This one is complete with whiskey barrel planters, which makes me feel really good because our rental right now has a few in front so I feel better about having them in our yard.

    No Scandinavian locale is complete without chopped wood.

     or a bunch of roosters running around.

     More of those whiskey barrels.

    And here I spotted Mr. Tage Andersen. I didn’t have the guts to chat with him this time around for fear of turning into Superfan, which I had already established when I tracked him down in Copenhagen at his downtown studio.

     Swedish flag.

     And oh, the details! Nothing is basic. Stacked branches to hold the water barrels.

    “I think it’s T double E double R double R double I double F double I double C, C, C”. What movie?

     And now, we get to the palace doors.

     Just a sculpture of a tree. NBD.

     Ok, that’s all I’m going to leave you with for now. And the amazing part? It somehow gets better.

    Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest

    Europe + Life + travel / Tuesday, 23 Apr 2013

    Roussillon, France

    I’m getting through my pictures from last year’s trip to Provence slowly but surely. A couple of weeks ago I talked about Gordes, and just 10 km away the landscape dramatically transforms into iron-rich soil and you come across Roussillon. It’s such a noticeable change in the appearance of the red cliffs and consequently, the colors of the town. Whereas Gordes feels blindingly white because of the limestone, Roussillon feels much more Mediterranean. Like a clay pot. The houses are saturated in bright, earthy colors. It’s a bit less formidable and a bit more reachable. Mom and I walked the town and discovered, like many other towns in Provence, the haphazard arrangement of the town plan, which is conducive to lots of nooks and crannies and, thus, lots of fun unexpected doors and windows. It’s a door-lover’s paradise! 

    Colors of sorbet, non? 
    I loved the iron-work detailing throughout the town. These metalsmiths had a good time.

     Watermelon house? Please and thank you.

     The view.

     Isn’t this a fantastic covering for a balcony? I note it here so that someone can use the idea for their own backyard.

     And we left at sunset. Sigh.

    I dream about this place. Where do you dream about? 
    More pictures from Provence: Gordes, our entry,  the town we stayed in Apt, walking around Apt
    Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest