Posts Categorized: Friends of Lars

Friends of Lars + Life / Monday, 12 May 2014

My mother’s creative influence

Last week I was chatting with some creative friends of mine. We were supposed to be talking business but somehow the conversation turned into the influence our mothers have had on our aesthetic and philosophy. We spent an evening discussing each mother and how they’ve influenced us. Whether we’ve realized it or not, each one of us has been profoundly influenced by their background, design choices, parenting, and families in our own work.

I’ve actually been quite aware of the creative influence my mother has had on me most likely because she’s been such a standout and I wanted any association with her legacy. My mama grew up in Los Angeles with two of the most humble and serenely happy parents, Carl and Dorothy, who took the Bradshaw children to dance and music classes. Dorothy was a violinist who played in Hollywood film orchestras and skilled seamstress and Carl was an orthodontist who created some of the smiles you’ve seen in the movies. Mom and her sisters were quite the talented trio. They went to study in NYC–Mom and Diane at the School of American Ballet–when they were 16 and entered the New York  City Ballet and danced with Balanchine. They make accomplishment look really simple. After a year of being in the company, mom got an injury and moved back to LA where she says she entered the modeling agency and booked her first job: the cover of Seventeen Magazine. Ha! Again, making it look so easy. Kim Kardashian would be dumbfounded. She did lots of fun jobs like that before going to BYU and then transferring the UCLA to study. She talks about her college years as a time to take fun choral and art classes and practice the piano and learn cello. She later studied interior design and excelled at calligraphy and still is asked to lend her talents in these capacities. The lady does it all and does it well. 
When I began to be aware of my talented mom, she became (and still is) known for playing the piano. I know music because she only listened to classical on the radio and played Brahms at home. When I decided that I hated piano lessons I had to choose my own instrument. I chose the cello because it was so big (to my childhood eyes) that I never thought she’d go for it. The joke was on me. I still love playing to this day.
Growing up, I was surrounded by interior design magazines. Literally. There were piles of them by the bedside. I devoured House Beautiful, Victorian Magazine, Martha Stewart. I guess you could say that was the old-fashioned version of pinterest. I remember being entranced by a beautiful living room; Mesmerized by an all-white kitchen. For awhile I assumed that I wanted to work at a magazine because they were the ones providing me the inspiration. It was a LONG time before I realized that “magazines” don’t make the living rooms. It’s designers, stylists, creative directors. I had no idea what those titles meant until fairly recently.  
When I was in 1st grade, Mom opened up the loveliest furniture and gift shop in Corona del Mar called En Provence. My uncle, Dean Bradshaw, made the French country furniture (he lived in France for awhile), my mom sold it. It was a wonderland of beauty. I remember she painted trompe l’oeil rugs on the ground of the shop and applied hay to the walls and plastered over it. Though I loved school, I was more than willing to pretend to be sick so that I could spend the day at the shop. 
When I think of “my style” I’m reminded of the influence of my childhood. To this day, my heart aches when I see a French-country interior. It feels right. That said, I’ve now had the opportunity to travel and explore my own aesthetic and take that and make it my own. Sometimes when I like something that strays a bit from my mom’s style I still feel an ounce of (fake) betrayal. Just cuz.
For a long time on this blog I would call my mom for a brainstorming session. The lady doesn’t (literally) sleep because she is busy thinking of ideas. I’ve learned to limit my requests because her mind won’t shut once it starts. She is quite simply, the most creative person I’ve ever met. Creative meaning “one who creates”. She can take a simple material and morph it into something you didn’t know was possible (like butcher paper turned into huge flowers). She’s taught me how to think creatively. Not copying her way of thinking, but her method of thinking. Thank you Mom for living a creative life and teaching us how to do it too.

*I wrote an article (with Paul) on my grandparents for the third issue of Kinfolk magazine. Check it out to read more about them and their health habits. Man, that doesn’t sound like a very tempting headline, but I swear it’s more than that.

Design + Events + Friends of Lars + Life + travel / Friday, 7 Mar 2014

Meet Make Do Part 2

Yesterday I talked about the crafting retreat I attended last week in Palm Springs, Meet Make Do. Today I’m finishing up starting with a change of scenery. See this bright of colorful sunshine above? That there is the Saguaro Hotel. It comes into the story in just a bit. But in the mean time…

You might remember from yesterday that we were staying at a really awesome mid-century house, which was perfect for our needs. We all had our rooms and then a central gathering place to craft not to mention a pool and tons of beauty. Serene. Well, we returned home from dinner the second night and found that our place had been robbed. Eeeeeeek. For reals. The two little casitas in the back of the house had been ransacked. Laptop, money, wallets…gone. Two girls lost a lot of valuable stuff, not to mention a sense of safety and comfort in a new place with new people. Erin of House of Earnest was one of those and you have to read her account of it. I admire her for her amazing perspective while being in such a vulnerable position.

The police came and did their thing and because of a lack of feeling safe in our place, our hosts and our sponsor, Bing, decided that the best solution was to find a hotel to stay for the night. Through the horrible events of the night, the highlight of the situation was trying out something new. Enter Saguaro. I can’t say I was super bummed about our new locale.

Erin mentioned something in her post that was spot on. We no longer had a place to craft and do our thing AND THEN, the elements decided to turn on us and rain the next day so our plans really went out the window. BUT, the change of plans brought us closer together. We ended up spending time together chatting and really getting to know each other. Some of my favorite moments were late night chats with my roommate, Melanie from You Are My Fave and our last night together as a group gathered in Erin’s hotel room eating cheese and pretending as if we were circled at a campfire. I felt 16. I felt bonded. We talked about what it means to be generous and a good person. I can’t imagine a better ending to what could have been a truly negative experience. Have you ever come out of an awful situation feeling reenergized? It’s incredible how those things happen.

Above, the first night we ate delicious food at Workshop Restaurant. And see the name tags? All the cool writing was done by Striped Cat Studio. The next night the ladies had coordinated an amazing taco bar on top of the Ace Hotel
And we were presented with some lovely goodies like these prints from Minted.
I had really been hoping to get my hands into the amazing florals that the girls had brought the play with from Flower Muse, but sadly, because of the change of events we didn’t get to do so. Sad face. How gorgeous are these David Austen roses???

 This is the view of the Saguaro from my room.

 And Kelly matched the walls.

Back in the day I interned for Jonathan Adler and I finally got to visit the hotel he designed, The Parker, which is impeccable. So so gorgeous. I forced Ashley to take a door shot.

Now, how embarrassing was this. I brought my skirt that I found at a vintage shop years ago. I perfectly matched the bedspreads in the hotel rooms. I compare it to the time I showed up to high school on the first day wearing the same thing as my teacher, DJ Tanner style. You know what I’m talking about. I got a lot of compliments from the housekeepers.

I had to get a shot with the B. And that uncomfortable face I’m pulling is a result of rain and wind in my face.

Well, that’s it folks. A lot of really great times combined with some not so stellar moments. But I’d do it again in heartbeat.

Thank you to so many people for making it happen. Especially Chelsea from Lovely Indeed, Kelly from Studio DIY, Brittni from Paper & Stitch and BING who is the best. Also a big thank you to West Elm for providing a lot of the styling pieces we were going to use (doh!). Jordan Brantley for all the branding and all the others who I mentioned yesterday and above. Can we do round 2 please???

photography by Mary Costa Photography with some snapped from my iphone and one from @lovelyindeed

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.

Friends of Lars + In the Know + Life / Tuesday, 8 Jan 2013

“Life elevated”

Whoa! It’s been awhile, friends. Thanks for your patience as we’ve been in a rather constant succession of change and/or moving and/or holidays since way before leaving Copenhagen. LIFE HAS BEEN NUTS! But, I’m sure I’m not the only one. Life is always nuts, am I right? I am totally embarrassed to say that I’m WAY behind on some deadlines and, clearly, blogging. Clients, you know who you are. Forgive me! I’m not normally so delinquent. It’ll be worth it, I promise!

So, we’ve moved into our new place in Provo, UT and we love it! Three of our Copenhagen apartment could fit into this monstrosity (really, it’s pretty normal size). AND, we have a washer, dryer, dishwasher, carpet…needless to say, I’ve been doing laundry just for the fun of it. Because I can! And because we haven’t had those conveniences in awhile so it’s still novel to me. Please remind me in 2 years that laundry is fun if I forget that 1st world detail.

This picture above is my sister as we took our last walk by the beach in San Clemente, CA before we packed our car to move up here. Our timing was funny. She’s been living in UT for the past 7 years and recently decided to move back home at the same time we moved up here. So, as we unpacked our small belongings in our new place, we then packed up her abundance of treasures to set back to CA. Boo hoo. We had so many plans together. We were going to make creative mischief! Alas, plans change and as Walt Disney says, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” I’m excited for her in her new choice. I’m really excited about our new change too. There have been a number of what I believe are signs that make us feel like this is right.

“Life elevated”. That’s what the Utah license plate claims. And we can totally feel it on with the cracked, dry hands and constant headaches. BUT, I’m also certain that 2013 will be a year of “life elevated”. Raising the bar. Choosing to make it a good year. How about it?! Let’s make it a good year! I have some great things planned for the year and lots of announcements to make so stay tuned!

Also, UT readers…I’m thinking of doing a meet-up of sorts. Maybe a workshop or clothes exchange or something…what do you think?

picture by me taken from my iphone on Instagram. Follow @houselarsbuilt

Artist Feature + Design + Friends of Lars + Textiles / Thursday, 19 Jul 2012

Caitlin Watson Part II

Part 2 to yesterday’s shameless plug to find my sister, who’s straight out of college, a job doing something creative whether it be textile work or installations or something crafty. I blogged about her BFA show back in December where she created textile patterns and then turned them into clothes so that when you arrive you had something to put on. She’s also created some graphic rug patterns which I would LOVE to have beneath my feet.
Check out her  full website here. Ok, universe, work your magic!