Monthly Archives: September 2011

Blast From The Past: My Old Studio

Dear Diary,

In 2007 I moved into a little studio apartment in Los Angeles. It was my first time living alone and only my second apartment ever. My little apartment was in an old Spanish style building in Hollywood near Runyon Canyon. For some reason my block was totally gross and disgusting, but every other block surrounding was gorgeous. Anyway, it looks a little cheesy now that I’m four years in the future, but I loved this shet out of that apartment.

This is my kitchen. The floor was a DIY featured on Design Sponge a while back. I still love the way those stripes look.

I stole that red trunk from my parents. Then I gave it to a friend when I moved back to New York. Is it weird that I want it back even though there isn’t really a good place for it in my new apartment?

From 2005-2008 I was a constant “Yay” sayer. So much so that I thought it was appropriate to put a “YAY!” decal on my window. It seems dorky but it was a nice reminder to be appreciative for what I saw out that window (the lovely Hollywood Hills).

This is a sconce I made out of an old manzanita branch I found in my parents attic. I still like it, but would probably use different electric components if I made it again.

Some of my old artwork.

I love this piece and I miss it. A close friend (and architect) helped me design and construct this baby. Totally impractical but so fun.

A bed designed by my architect friend, Noel. Since the space was small I needed something with storage for all my books and t-shirts.

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Fake Joan Didion Quote of the Week: Xanadu

“I’m taking my ass home and watching Xanadu.” - Joan Didion

* This statement was not made by Joan Didion. This phrase was actually uttered by Cort Hightower, actor and Olivia Newton John historian. 

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How To Make Lame Art Cool

Dear DIY Diary,

I bought an awesome, yet stupid, painting at a thrift store recently and I was looking for a way to make it more challenging. I knew I wanted to add text but didn’t really want to invest the time in painting it so I decided to use vinyl lettering.

Here is what the painting looked like sans text:

Here are the letters I bought from Koonz Hardware in West Hollywood. If you live anywhere near Los Angeles and you love old timey hardware stores, you have to check out Koonz. It’s totally awesome.

And here’s the text I added, which changed the painting from cheesy coastal tourist town art to something more intriguing.

Anyway, feel free to steal this idea. Buy a dumb painting for $20, get some stickers, and write something wacky on it. It’s a great conversation starter (which is why I hung mine in the dining room).

Glamour.

Love,
Orlando

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The Golden State: 1960s

Dear Reader,

It’s time for more vintage images of California, this time from the 1960s. These are some of my favorites. The fashion, the glorious matte colors, the oppressed look in everyone’s eyes. Since I love quoting Joan Didion, here’s what she has to say about California:

“The apparent ease of California life is an illusion, and those who believe the illusion will live here in only the most temporary way.”

- Joan Didion

Of course my family doesn’t necessarily believe this illusion – we’ve been in California for generations. All these old photos express a carefree, glamourous lifestyle lived in big houses in the shining sun. However, everyone knows that all families have problems and worries. I prefer to imagine that things were as golden as they look in these images:

I love this picture of my mother, who now is obsessed with terrariums and bonsai.

This is my grandmother’s backyard, where I spent much of my childhood playing and looking for pennies to buy slurpies at the nearby 7-11. Her neighborhood was pretty much identical to the one in ‘Edward Scissorhands.’

I love these fashionable coats!

My mother and her twin.

My grandmother somewhere Back East.

I hope you enjoyed the 60s in California through the lens of my ancestors and all these pastel-filled photographs.

Love,
Orlando

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Hedi Slimane: San Francisco Summer

Dear Hedi Slimane,

I love your recent images of San Francisco. You are a genius.

Love,

Orlando

 

 

 

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Extreme Makeover: Chris Crocker Edition

Dear Chris Crocker,

Most people know you from the “Leave Britney Alone” Youtube video you made a few years ago. What most people don’t know is that you had been recording video performances for a long time before you became instantly famous, and that many of those videos are genius. There is a new documentary about your life coming out soon and to go along with your new movie you’ve got a new look. While I loved your playful genderambiguous look before, you look great now. Below are before and after pictures.

Before:

After:

And here is a preview of the documentary based on your life.

My hope is that people will see this and you will finally get the credit you deserve for being a talented performance artist.

Love,
Orlando

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