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Small Mountain Cabin in Italy

"Designed by EM2 Architekten, this small mountain cabin is set in the region San Vigilio di Marebbe in Italy. The cabin, named Jagdhaus Tamers, features a wall which can be “opened up” to reveal a large floor-to-ceiling window that almost spans the width of the building…When the cabin isn’t in use, or when it’s particularly cold outside, the wall can be rotated back in place to reduce heat loss, or to provide some extra security. The cabin features a number of much smaller slit-like windows that frame different views of the stunning landscape. The small windows and rotating wall were created to allow the cabin to be locked-up from wildlife, and to help prevent intrusion.…"
Click here.

On Not Buying Everything From Amazon

I buy a lot of stuff from them. Books, batteries, Bose earphones, travel alarm, anchovies…it's a brilliant operation  -- quick, simple, low-cost. But lately I've been backing off a bit. Yesterday I went into Builder's Booksource in Berkeley and bought 2 books -- Cracks in the Asphalt - Community Gardens in San Francisco, and Steal Like an Artist, which George, the owner showed me, plus 2 copies of Dwell Magazine (which I think sucks -- going to write something about them soon).
   I read a while back about people finding books in bookstores and ordering from Amazon on their phones right then. Hold up here! Is low cost the only criteria? How about supporting the bookstores so they can stay open and you can go in and browse and talk to book-loving personnel?
   I've switched to ordering all my photo equipment from BH PhotoVideo in New York. To find an item like a Canon battery charger with fold-out (rather than cord) prongs, I talked to someone at BH, who directed me to the item I wanted right away. One time a guy there turned me onto a nice little card reader that he used himself. Their prices are about as good as Amazon. If you're into photography and in Manhattan, go there -- huge place -- like 50 sales people at the digital counter -- (take a number like for sandwiches at Whole Foods).
  Thirdly, I've been buying tools lately at Jackson Hardware, an employee-owned super tool and hardware store in San Rafael, Calif. Yesterday I bought a Makita model 4350T jigsaw, and it cost me $25 more than at Amazon. But the sales guy walked me through Makitas, Bosch's, Dewalts and how to work the controls on the Makita for 4 different cutting actions. I ended up buying this top of the line one for $199. (At my age, it'll last me for the --ulp! -- rest of my life.)
   There's a prevalent argument for buying everything from Amazon because they're cheaper. I'm sayin that the almighty lowest cost ain't all there is to it.
Mony Mony by Tommy James & The Shondells on Grooveshark

Restored Small Home in Waco, Texas

"A restored 336 square feet guest home in Waco, Texas. Restored by Heritage Restorations."
Click on Small House Swoon here.

Photos From Bay Area Perambulations Today

From top down:
-Elegant steep gable house on 28th Ave near Balboa in SF. How come you never see anything this cool in Dwell Magazine?
-House frame in Vallejo, hip roof, nice little understated dormer. You can learn a lot just studying this nicely-proportioned frame.
-If you remember when skateboards were like this, you are pretty old. In the 40s we used to take apart clamp-on-to-yr.-shoe skates and nail them on a piece of wood. This is in the window at The Purple Skunk Skate on Geary Blvd. in SF.
-Ducati on street in SF. I like seeing the frame, as with the house in Vallejo.
-Bambi Airstream, obviously a new one, Novato
Boy, I love getting out and around, shooting pics.

Thursday Morning Fish Fry/Eagle Hunters of Mongolia

Left home about 6AM, drove south along the coast, the lights of San Francisco glowing across the water. A few crab boats out with lights…After all these years, the Golden Gate Bridge is still stunning…It was just 30 days ago today that I left for Hong Kong, did the press check for Tiny Homes on the Move, then promptly crashed energy-wise, limped on to home-sweet-home, got better, and now feeling recharged…B.B. King and Eric Clapton doing "Hold On, I'm Coming" right now, I'm at my usual early morning SFO haunt, Cafe Roma, in North Beach, old school Italian cafe…Man do I love this city…Man, do I love California…We've had a lot of rain in the Bay Area in the past few weeks; not so much of a drought here now, but I think the Central Valley is still in dire straits…Been the worst mushroom year in memory…This wonderful story of the eagle hunters of Mongolia from Rick Gordon:
Photo by Asher Svidensky
Click here.

Semi-Underground House in Austin, Texas

"According to the architects: These houses are typically sunken and take advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort. The contemporary property is about healing the land and ameliorating the scars of the site’s industrial past. The project raises awareness about a diminishing natural landscape and its finite resources by creating a balance between the surrounding industrial zone and the natural river residing on opposite side of the plot. The architectural design of Edgeland Residence is broken up into two separate pavilions, for the living and sleeping areas, and requires direct contact with the outside elements to pass from one to the other. This interior design sets new standards for sustainability while providing great aesthetic qualities through its small footprint and integrated mechanical features.”
Architects: Bercy Chen Studio
Click here.

Home of Recycled Materials in Los AngelesI

"All beam and plant-on work in the house was done with salvaged wood from TRP and Cleveland Wrecking Company. I have been a TRP customer since the opening of your L.A. store. I bought a large stained glass window from TRP, which was installed in the main window of the house. One of the exterior walls contains shingles and a pine-and-cedar Viking dragon head purchased at TRP.  The red brick work was done entirely with salvaged brick. The garden lights and front exterior lights are also used. The interior woodwork was built with salvaged lumber shaped with a bandsaw and bodygrinder. The kitichen stove and refrigerator were purchased used, from TRP.
Barry Wiggins

Tujunga, California"
Click here.

Fingertips - Little Stevie Wonder

Stevie at 12 years of age.  This song was written for Stevie by Clarence Paul and Henry Cosby. Many of the other songs he did early on were covers of Ray Charles songs.

Poppy in Sunlight

And today we've had over an inch of rain…

Publisher Floored by New Book!

This is the 29th book I've done in 44 years of publishing, and something different has happened here.
   Our output is slow because we put books together 2 pages at a time. Grown-up publishers get a book totally prepared -- text and graphics -- before starting production.
   I collected materials, for about a year, stored both on the computer and in old-school 5th-cut file folders. Once it got to a tipping point, we started production. I'd pull out the best stuff, do layout with a cheap color copy machine and scotch tape. Our artist-sometimes-in-residence, David Wills, would tune up the designs, whenceforth they went to Rick Gordon for InDesign/Photoshop preparation for printers. Lew Lewandowski unearthed a lot of this material, and designed a bunch of pages. Evan Kahn contributed in various ways. The book assumed its form, with categories, 2/3 of the way through its production.
   Bob Easton and I developed this seat-of-pants method of production out of necessity with Shelter in 1973: we only had maybe half of the materials ready, so we just started. I continued to shoot photos, write, and edit the book while it was in production. Photos kept coming in from contributors. Still our M.O.

Sleek Angle On a Community Garden Shed

"I don’t know about you, but when I hear the words “garden shed,” I don’t immediately picture a gorgeous, sleek and impossibly well-designed structure.So I thought it was pretty great that for the Woodlands Community Garden Club in Vancouver, Brendan Collander Design and UBC architecture students so excellently thought “outside the shed” when designing this multifaceted and very attractive structure..."
Click here.