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Hammock Circle of Love | Spirit Wind

I’m very excited to introduce you to my new favorite spot in the world.

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If you haven’t guessed already, it’s the hammock circle at Spirit Wind. I’m been Instagramming about it since we finished building it on the 4th of July. Jonathan and I designed it. It’s basically the center of the universe.


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As one of our guests said, “It’s supreme!”. We built it for star gazing. But it’s great during the day, too. The wind gently rocks you while you soak in the panoramic view of the house, mountains, boulders and Joshua trees.



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At night you feel body less and like you are floating through space. It’s the perfect spot for watching meteor showers. It’s just completely magical. Photo: @niritgur


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You can also get a great view of the architecture. The facade of building based on ratios in atonal ancient musical scales. Photo: @nextleveljay


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All your stress and problems just blow away. Bunnies hop by. Birds soar. It’s the perfect spot for deep life altering conversations and pondering the universe. Watching the sunset.


 
UPDATE: Luna Shadows filmed part of her video for her new song Cherries at Spirit Wind (and Noah Purifoy). Check out our hammock circle in action!


Follow @spiritwindjoshuatree for more magical hammock photos
Or come to Joshua Tree and enjoy it yourself!

September 15, 2016
See more: buildings & places, design, diary, in California, Joshua Tree, landscape & garden, on the road

Spirit Wind Renovations – Part 1

Sorry I have been ignoring you guys! I haven’t been blogging much because I have been busy with the renovations at Spirit Wind. We are on week 8 of the renovation. It feel like 2 years. Things are generally going really well, and we are getting a lot done each week. But there is always the desire for things to go faster and we wish more was finished. Things are a bit over budget, but I’m not really that surprising. Jonathan and I each keep adding things that we want to do right away. I’d like to make it really swank.

Here is a quick tour–

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Palm Springs Life magazine features an interview with the previous owner of Spirit Wind and a couple of photos of the house in the April edition. We asked them to come back to take more pictures once we finish our renovations!

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This is the view right outside the sliding glass doors in living room. This is looking east towards the sunrise. This is also where the moon rises. The view straight ahead is an area the locals call “Section 6”. It is a Desert View Conservation Area adjacent to the National Park.

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This is the Opium Den. We know this because that is how this room was labeled on the electrical panel.  The previous owners used this room at a tiki bar and a dog kennel. We decided to restored it to Opium Den glory, with a big built-in sectional couch/bed and a mountain of kilim pillows. The custom bed and cabinetry was all designed and built by my step-father Bill, who is a master cabinet maker. He added a lot of great details. There is a built-in magazine rack, 3 USB charging stations, a drawer for games, built-in end tables. It’s really stunning.Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 4.27.10 PM

We are also doing some renovations to the garage, this wall will be part of my art studio. Our friend Bas is going to do a big geometric mural on one of the walls.

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My mom, Susan, counting the blooming Beavertail cactus at Spirit Wind. The superbloom has been amazing.

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The boys up on a 15′ ladders installing trim and LED bulbs in the foyer. We rented the ladder at Home Depot.

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This is the living room couch set up. It’s dangerous. If I sit down here, it’s so comfortable and the view is so amazing, I just can’t get back up. I just want to spend the rest of the day here watching the light change! I can’t let that happen, because we have a lot of work to do…

Stay tuned, I’ll post more Spirit Wind renovation photos soon!

+You can follow @spiritwindjoshuatree on Instagram

 

May 3, 2016
See more: buildings & places, diary, home & interiors, in California, Joshua Tree

Welcome to Spirit Wind, Joshua Tree!

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 1.52.04 PMWhen it rains, a waterfall comes off this corner of the house and lands in a dry creek full of rock.

Exciting, life changing news! Jonathan & I just bought a house in Joshua Tree, California. The property is called Spirit Wind (named by the second owners). It was designed by architect George Zelenz and was completed in 2009. It’s on the edge of the National Park and a few miles from the west gate. It’s a really special, magical place. We have over 100 Joshua trees on the property, thousands of cacti and stunning 360 views. It really looks like it could be on Mars or another planet!


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The house is clad with Hardy Board and core-10 steel.

We are still kind of in shock that this place is ours. It was a long complicated escrow because there were a number of things that had never been finished on the house, that had to be resolved before our mortgage broker, Natalie Salins from Movement Mortgage could get it approved. The house needs a bit of renovations and finishing touches. For example it was was missing a bunch of railings on 2nd and 3rd floor. There was a spiral staircase with NO railing. I climbed up it a couple of times because I was really curious to see the view from the roof, but it was pretty precarious.

The plan is to eventually move out there full time, but that might be 10 years away or more. In the meanwhile we going to split our time between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. It is about a 2-1/2 hour drive between our house in Echo Park and Joshua Tree. We are looking forward to making lots of memories out there!


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View from the front door… I’m planning to plant a grid of Barrel cactus out here.

I’ll post more photos of the Spirit Wind renovation soon!


March 8, 2016
See more: buildings & places, diary, in California, Joshua Tree, landscape & garden, Los Angeles Real Estate, on the road, real estate

Looking Back: My Favorite 10 Blog Posts of 2015

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As the year comes to an end, it’s nice to look back. It has been a cray-cray year for me and I haven’t had the chance to sit back and reflect as much as I would like. Honestly, I have been kind of beating myself up that I haven’t made more time to blog this year. But looking back through all my posts I realize that I have written a lot (between all my blogs). I picked these 10 blog posts, not because they got the most likes or view, but because I liked them and thought they might be the most helpful to you.

For me, 2015 was a transitional year. I lost some friends and two grandparents. There were a number of family and friends that were very sick or dealing with difficult situations. I’m grateful that things are settling down. 2015 felt like the end of one era and 2016 will be the beginning of another. I’m really ready for this new year. Let’s make it great.

XOXO

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PERSONAL STORIES

Way Way up in the Ancient Bristlecone National Forest

Exploring the Moorten Botanical Gardens, Palm Springs

Hungry for Plants at Flora Grubb Gardens, San Francisco

LOS ANGELES NEIGHBORHOODS

Highland Park (Figueroa St. corridor), Los Angeles 90042

Angelino Heights, Echo Park, 90026

Boyle Heights Neighborhood, Los Angeles 90033, 90063, 90023

Elysian Valley (AKA Frogtown), Los Angeles Neighborhood 90039

LANDSCAPE

12 Awesome Outdoor Couches – 2015

Turf Free Backyard, Pasadena

8 Easy Ways to Improve your Curb Appeal

December 31, 2015
See more: design, diary, in California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Real Estate, on the road

A History: Lundeen Caramels of California

Caramel pour #2. #lundeencaramelsofcalifornia

A video posted by Patty Hume (@pattyhume) on

A Family Tradition

My great-grandmother Rachel Lundeen (aka GG) and her cousin started making holiday caramels for their friends and family in Bloomington, Illinois during the depression (early 1930’s). The caramel recipe they perfected was particularly addicting and yummy. Their friends and family kept demanding they make more caramels, and it quickly turned into a family Christmas tradition that is still going strong eight decades later.


A big thanks to Andrea, Bas, Abby, Ella, Stacey, SueAnn, Angela, Lily & Rob for helping us wrap all the caramels this year! <3


Some of my favorite childhood memories are wrapping caramels with my great-grandmother Rachel (she lived to be 98, passing away in 1999) and the rest of our extended family around my grandparents dining room table. I was in charge of cutting wax paper, but I also ate a lot of caramels. “Wrap one, eat one”, my grandpa used to say.

Four years ago Jonathan and I got brave and decided to try out hand at candy making. We bought a lot of commercial kitchen gear. We bought huge pots,  3′ long stirring spoons, oven mitts that go up to our shoulders, high tech laboratory thermometers, a dozen extra deep cookie sheets, etc. And then we got busy making test batches. There was a bit of a learning curve. We had some failures. Some of the early batches were too soft and stuck to the waxed paper. Some were too hard or just didn’t taste right. Eventually we started getting better at it. We now keep a detailed caramel log of every batch we make, so we can keep improving the recipe. This year we turned out 1600+ candies to share with friends and family.

We stick to the original family recipe for the most part, but we now sprinkle the plain caramels with sea salt (#seasaltisthenewplain). We also make small batches of specialty caramels each year. The flavored caramels for 2015 are: pecans, and chocolate/hazelnut. Based of feedback we may make more of one flavor the next year.

And to answer the million dollar question… No, I can’t give you the recipe. It’s top secret; I’ve been sworn to secrecy by my dad and grandpa Ed (Rachel’s son). We have relatives in different parts of the country who make the caramels each year so there is a little bit of a family competition to see who makes them and how they come out.


Enjoying your caramels? Instagram us a photo! Hashtag your photos #lundeencaramelsofcalifornia and they will automatically show up in the grid below!


 

Happy Holidays from Echo Park!

XOXO,

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December 11, 2015 0
See more: back kitchen, diary, history