This Week in Instagramz

Photos by Sabino00 on Instagram

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This week was one that took me on a crazy California adventure. I took a road trip with my friend Sabin to visit my parents in Yosemite, my hometown. My parents are moving soon, so each trip there is a little bittersweet, the anticipation of losing a place that helped form my identity as a total rural weirdo. Sabin is a master Instagramer, so this week I’m using mostly his images instead of mine. Mainly because every time I wanted to Instagram something he’d already done so, like, perfectly.

This is the currently-dry Yosemite Falls, which towers above my parents house:

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The glamorous Museum, where Sabin saw famous basket weaver Julia Parker giving a demonstration.

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In case you weren’t aware, Yosemite is a deadly place. There have been, like, multiple books written about it. Thus, when you go there, observe the posted directives. Or you will die.

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These awesome, laid back chairs live at the Ahwahnee, a glamorous lodge in Yosemite.

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We weren’t quite sure what these designs on the Ahwahnee cabins were, but thought they were pretty delightful.

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And how much do you LOVE this geometric waterfall bench?

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A fun thing about bringing new people to your hometown is that they bring fresh eyes to things you’ve seen your whole life. I’ve always hated this ugly warehouse near my childhood home, but Sabin noted how cool and industrial it was and how fun it would to buy it and turn it into a luxurious, minimalist mansion. Dreamz.

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We took a hike to Glacier Point, a beautiful rocky mountain cliff that provides gorgeous vistas of Yosemite Valley. My friends always get a little annoyed when I take them on this hike because when you get to the top you find out there are people up there who drove (there is a road and parking up there but I prefer to hike it). Thus, after you’ve just climbed 3000 feet you see all the people who drove, like, eating ice cream and luxuriating in the sun, laughing about how easy their lives are.

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This is Sabin, doing something weird on a mountain.

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We both salivated over this beautiful aluminum sign diagramming the mountain range surrounding Half Dome.

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After our hike we were really hot, sweaty, and gross so we decided to jump into the river. I’m a huge baby and hate cold water, but once I got in I appreciated how refreshing it was.

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Summer months in Yosemite mean using your bike to get around. Mainly because there are so many visitors on the road that you can’t get anywhere and once you do there’s nowhere to park.

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We happened to be in Yosemite during the Perseid Meteor Showers, so we spent every night laying on blankets in the field next to my parents house, staring up at the shooting stars. It was totally crazy. Like one shooting star every 30 seconds crazy. I’m convinced that there is nowhere on this planet where the stars shine as bright as they do in Yosemite.

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And now onto the gross photos I took (Hommemaker on Instagram):

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My parents made me look through tons of boxes while I was home. Boxes of all this stuff they kept from my childhood (which was everything). It was weird and fun and sad. But dude, there were some gems in there. Including this ridiculous project I did with my best friend making fun of The Scarlet Letter and Seventeen Magazine.

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Also found in the boxes was this totally exciting Walt Disney World hat I got when I was 12. I’ll be wearing this, like, all weekend.

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Upon returning to LA I got back to work on design clients and a big commissioned paint-by-numbers I am making.

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Last night I stopped by the Warby Parker store opening at the Standard Hollywood, which is totally close to my apartment. The party was fun and the decor was exciting.

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The best part of the night was this water performance.

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All in all, a crazy California week.

Love,
Orlando

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D.I.Why? Turning An Ugly PoorPeople Mirror into a Pretty RichPeople Mirror

Photos By Erika Gragg

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Dear You,
Are you ever sitting at home, wishing that a stranger on the internet would tell you how to do something you already know how to do? Well you’re in luck, because today I am going to show you how to paint a frame. It’s an activity that’s so easy that a goldfish with no fins, tail, or eyeballs could do it. Here’s what you do:

1. Go to Goodwill, Out of the Closet, or another thrift store and buy an ugly splatter painted mirror. Make sure that although the paint is ugly, it is of good quality (solid wood) and well-built.

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2. Go to the Koontz Hardware and buy this product. Or buy it on the internet or whatever:

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3. Get yourself some gorgeous blue tape (to match my deep, oceanic eyes):

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4. And a paintbrush. And sandpaper. And an Exacto knife.

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5. Using a fine grain sandpaper, sand the frame lightly, so that the new paint will stick (there’s no picture of this because it’s way too boring).

6. Tape off the mirror so you don’t waggle your paint all over everything like a fool. You may notice that the mirror suddenly changed color to blue in the image below. That’s because I painted it blue before realizing that was a totally stupid idea and that I was a stupid dumb idiot for doing so. Tip: don’t paint your chic 80s Kelly Wearstler mirror country blue. Duh.

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7. Use your Exacto knife to make sure the corners are taped perfectly. If you don’t do something perfectly, you may as well not do it all. You may as well just sit there eating a jar of peanut butter. Alone. On the sofa. By yourself.

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8. Paint the frame whilst thinking about those delicious cookies your grandma used to make. Remember, you must think positive thoughts while painting. Otherwise you fill whatever you’re painting with your inner demons and the painted item is cursed. Forever.

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9. Flip your hair and keep painting, thinking about how fulfilling this activity is and how happy you will be to have a glamorous, high-gloss black mirror.

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10. Allow the paint to dry overnight. While you wait, dream of how gorgeous it’s going to be, how different your life will be now that you have a glamorous mirror to stare at, how nothing can stop you now. Then, rip off the tape while yelling things about how gross Ann Coulter is and how ashamed you are that she went to the same stupid college you went to.

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11. Admire how shiny and lovely the paint is (seriously, I’m kind of impressed by this high-gloss product).

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12. Hang your mirror in a place that needs something big and reflective. A bathroom is an idea place because then you can also use the mirror to look at yourself when you’re getting ready in the morning, wondering how many new ugly 80s mirrors you will find that day.

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So there you have it. How to paint a mirror. Now go out and paint something before the endoftimez. Hurry!

Love,
Orlando

All photos by Erika Gragg.

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Take Me To Haverland: Part 2

Dear Michael Haverland,

I’m obsessed with your architectural projects and have embarked on a series to expose them to the world. This week’s feature is the glamourous Waterfront House in East Hampton, New York.

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I love myself a giant window, and so this house is just what the doctor ordered. I love how simple and graphic the design of the exterior is.

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I am fascinated by these sculptural cast bricks on the exterior. And by “fascinated” I mean “confused.” And by “confused” I mean “worried.” And by “worried” I mean “angry.”

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That I’m not laying by this pool right now, sipping a lemonade, makes me feel like I have made only bad decisions in my life.

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Everything in this room is right. Including the too-many pillows on the built-in.

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There are three chairs in this room and I want ALL of them.

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Can you imagine the glamour of waking up in that bed? Sunbeams glittering into your eyeballs, awakening you from your slumber, in which you dreamt about how luxurious your bedding was?

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More of these crazy texture-bricks. They are super Frank Lloyd Wright, but they confound me. I guess they are cool. Or not. What do you think? HALP!

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I’ve always dreamed of living in a house that looks like Lincoln Center, so that at night I would get confused and think I was going to see an opera whenever I went outside.

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So there you have it. Waterfront House. Take me to there!

Love,
Orlando

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In Honor of Jeffery Self: Empowering Breakup Songs

Dear The People Of The Internet,

Have you been following Jeffery Self? I have. He looks like this:

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You can check him out on his hilarious YouTube channel and read see his posts on Tumblr. I fell in love with Jeffery and his co-comedian Cole years ago when I saw their ridiculously awesome Recession Video. A few years after he made that video, Jeffery started dating an adorable guy and they had the cutest relationship ever, which was documented heavily on social media. It looked like this:

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I met Jeffery and his boyfriend Patrick at a pool party last year and they were adorable and sweet and friendly. But then their cute relationship ended. I was sad, because I loved them as a couple. Jeffery was sad because he lost his soul mate. As an older, wiser Gay, I told him to document his story in writing, to get it out of his head. And he has done so beautifully on his Tumblr.

What does all this have to do with you, you ask? Well the one good thing about going through a break up is that it’s an excuse to listen to power ballads sung by beautiful women without feeling guilty or self-conscious about it. Thus, I have compiled a list of songs for Jeffery (and Patrick) to listen to whilst lamenting and missing each other. And YOU can listen to these songs at work and think about poisoning your boss and stealing his job. Everyone wins!

So, wherever you are, listen to these songs RIGHT NOW. You will feel happy. You will feel sad. But mostly you’ll feel, like, totally empowered.

1. Katy Perry Part of Me [RAC Remix]

2. Hannah Georges Someone

3. Viola Wills Gonna Get Along Without You Now

4. She & Him Never Wanted Your Love

5. Tina Turner You Better Be Good to Me

6. Tegan & Sara Alligator Tears [Passion Pit Remix]

7. Björk Play Dead

8. CSS City Grrl [TEPR Remix]

9. Taylor Swift We Are Never Getting Back Together

10. Katy Perry Roar

So there you go. Every song you need to feel empowered. What’s your favorite breakup tune?

Love,
Orlando

PS: In addition to all those empowering ladysongs, also try Handle Me With Care by The Traveling Wilburys

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Friday Fashonz: What’s On Justin?

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Dear Gorgeous Person Reading This Post,

Are you reading Scout Sixteen? You should be. It’s just basically a whole site of Justin Livingston wearing cute outfits, standing on cute streets, being cute. So I’ve decided to start featuring him so that we can all ogle his outfits together. Enjoy!

This week’s outfit is a glamorous floral shirt with some perfect-fitting jeans (I could use some of those). I need an outfit transplant. Like, now. Check out the full details of his ensemble here.

Love,
Orlando

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This Week in Instagramz

Dear California,

I’ve been enamoured with you ever since I left you at 18 and spent all those years on the East Coast yearning to move back. Every day here is chock full of beautiful things to discover. Sometimes, I wake up, palm tree swaying outside my window and just think to myself “How many wonders can one cavern hold?” California. She’s got everything!

This week took me on a glamourously lonesome trip to Ojai:

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My La Habra Heights Clients. I did a totally fun, hand-painted feature wall in their kids’ playroom. Now I kind of want kids so that I can do this for them. So adorable and my clients were stoked.

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I snagged this new, extremely beautiful Pucci book from Taschen. After ogling it in the store, feeling how beautiful its silk cover was, and looking inside to see what an amazing history that company has, I had to have it.

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I’m in love with this house near Runyon Canyon. It’s a cute little Spanish style house with a Jag in the driveway. I want that life, like, right now.

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I’m sort of getting worried that I’ve started to have a few too many Weirdo-Boy from American Beauty moments lately, but I was totally enthralled with the sun setting on these yucca plants at Runyon. If you live in LA, you get kind of sick of people Insta’ing yuccas at Runyon so I felt like a total stereotype taking this picture, but I had to. Just too pretty to leave undocumented. Like your face.

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I spent last night with a friend at the Yamashiro Farmers Market. Which is really more like a food truck trailer park (in a good way) than a farmers market (I saw not one produce stand). You can grab a nice meal at food trucks (including Heirloom LA and Coolhaus) and then sit and look over the city and talk about the future, the past, and your deepest fears. I forced my friend Earl to come with me and we drank a bottle of wine with a straight couple whilst gabbing about gay dating. It was delightful!

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So there we have it. Me waddling around all over town acting like a too-emotional high school weirdo, obsessing over how pretty everything is all the time. If you want to follow my Instagram in real time, check out Hommemaker on Instagram.

Love,
Orlando

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Whut Glamour: New Illustrations from Richard Haines

Dear Richard Haines,

Every once in a while I find it necessary to peruse all the wonderful drawings you share on your gorgeous blog  What I Saw Today. They are the most beautiful fashion illustrations in the history of time and they make me want to live in a world where I am made out of gorgeous, gestural strokes of charcoal instead of flesh and bone. Here are some more recent entries:

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Love,
Orlando

PS: See more hyperbeautiful Richard Haines works here.

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