Debra Vigna

SHAPERS / / / SUDSOURCE

You know we love our local creators and doers and dreamers. Throw in these nitty gritty details - smart women with big brains and hearts on a mission to change the world and WE'RE IN. ( Also, in full disclosure, creams and soaps and serums made organically and sustainably and smelling scrumptious? They get me EVERY DAMN TIME.)

At a recent Artists and Fleas market on Abbot Kinney, I wandered into the SudSource booth with a friend (and my Jack Russell, Fred). Owners/founders Kathleen O'Clock and Julianne Reynolds were lovely and helpful and I instantly adored their philosophy - curb waste and protect the environment while choosing and using non-toxic, totally sustainable body, hair, and skin care products. Refill and reuse and repeat. They'll also deliver TO YOUR DOOR. Could Sephora ever make that claim?

So, while this SHAPERS feature isn't about photography, furniture, timeless design or bitchin' textiles, it is about honoring our creative do-gooder neighbors, the future of our precious environment, and it certainly doesn't hurt that Kathleen has a short-legged adorable Bassett Hound muttlet named Fiona (see pics below), adopted through Los Angeles' Much Love Animal Rescue in 2005. Yep, we're big fans! Thanks for tackling this SHAPERS Q+A solo, Kathleen, (while Julianne is on summer vacay).

xx - Rebecca 

Could you tell us a bit about your shared vision for Sudsource? How long have you known each other/how did you meet? 

We’re both passionate about Nature, and we’re concerned about the health of our environment and eco-systems given their importance for our collective wellbeing. As a society we’re finally waking up to the fact that our convenience model for consumer goods isn’t sustainable. Sudsource was created to offer an alternative to the “single-use packaging” model in the body care market. Our vision is to grow the business so it’s available in as many communities as possible across the country, and continue to spread the word about the budding Zero Waste movement we see as the New Way (which is really the Old Way) of buying products.

Kathleen and Julianne with Sudsource customer (  @iquittrash on Instagram), a fellow woman on a mission to reduce waste. She brought her own glass containers to the market to fill to the brim with her favorite Sudsource products!!

Kathleen and Julianne with Sudsource customer (@iquittrash on Instagram), a fellow woman on a mission to reduce waste. She brought her own glass containers to the market to fill to the brim with her favorite Sudsource products!!

We met 18 years ago in an acting class in NYC. We became friends and remained in touch over the years. We reconnected in the 2004 when we found ourselves both living in Los Angeles. For the following 10 years Julianne was busy travelling and building her career as a filmmaker through her company Romanski Films, while I worked in the Entertainment industry in Post Production. In 2010 after having my first child I was ready for a career change. During the first weeks home with my newborn, I had an epiphany about packaging waste looking at all the plastic bottles in our bathroom. After 4 years of R+D and a surprise second child, I founded Sudsource Fall of 2014. When Julianne returned from her travels she was excited about Sudsource and its mission to reduce waste, so we combined our strengths and launched sales April 2015.


What was the hardest part of your first year of business and what did it teach you about your vision and/or longevity as a company? 

The first year was about connecting with our community and finding out what’s important to them. The hardest part has been making adjustments and absorbing the inevitable losses and hard lessons of starting a business. What I’ve learned through this process is that there’s a lot of support for the Refill model; the primary issue for customers is convenience. We’re working on getting our pumps and bulk jars into stores so customers can get refills at their convenience. In the meantime, we offer local delivery within 30 miles of Los Angeles as an option.

The quiet and peaceful Venice-based Sudsource office, complete with a relaxed Fiona stretched out on the floo r. 

The quiet and peaceful Venice-based Sudsource office, complete with a relaxed Fiona stretched out on the floor. 

What's your favorite LA/Westside activity to help you to relax or rejuvenate? 

I get a massage whenever I can; I love going to Exhale in Santa Monica. I also train with ComplEATFitness in Marina Del Rey once a week.


Bestselling Sudsource product or scent?

Our best seller is the Face Cleansing Oil. It’s the only product we have with essential oils in the formula (geranium, lavender, and pink grapefruit). It smells wonderful and the feedback we’ve had is that it’s done wonders for people’s skin.


Favorite summer reading book?
I’m loving “But What If We’re Wrong?” by Chuck Klosterman right now.


Your 3 top tips on staying healthy and living well.

1. Exercise as often as possible, even if it’s just a short walk.
2. Make time to connect with friends and family.
3. Gratitude, the benefits are immeasurable.

Hi, Fiona. Adopt a shelter dog, people. They'll love you (and play ball with you) forever and ever. 

Hi, Fiona. Adopt a shelter dog, people. They'll love you (and play ball with you) forever and ever. 

Do you live by any particular motto or philosophy? Please share the details. 

I’m in the “We’re all in this together” camp. No matter what our backgrounds or where we come from, we all want and need the same things; this includes all living things and the natural world. The more we extend ourselves to each other, and help when/where needed, the better we all are. We’re all one, just love.

The Sudsource booth at local LA markets allows you to test out a full range of their products. You can also bring in your own glass containers and get refills of your favorites! 

The Sudsource booth at local LA markets allows you to test out a full range of their products. You can also bring in your own glass containers and get refills of your favorites! 


If you could have lunch with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? And where would you dine?

The living Dalai Lama at Crossroads here in Los Angeles.


*Lily Spindle's SHAPERS profiles the people whom we consider to be remarkable movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, trailblazers and big thinkers, the people who are doing things a little bit differently and unconventionally, with immense heart, passion, and authenticity in what they do. Artists, designers, writers, philanthropists, iconoclasts, artisans, heroines, voyagers, and all kinds of extraordinary extraordinaires will be interviewed in our SHAPERS series.

A "FULL HOUSE" IN LOS FELIZ: REVAMPING A LIVELY L.A. HOUSEHOLD

Name: Scot + Kerry Armstrong
Location: Los Feliz, California
Size: 2300-square-feet, 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 1 1/2 bath
Years lived in: 9

Located at the foot of Los Angeles'  iconic Griffith Park in sun-dappled and lovely Los Feliz is the beautiful one-story home of the Armstrong crew. An incredibly busy house just by the nature of its inhabitants -- husband, Scot, is a screenwriter/director known for, most recently, as the creator, writer, and director of the Showtime series "DICE" featuring Andrew Dice Clay, as well as  his work on "Road Trip," "The Hangover:Part II", and "Old School," while Kerry is the director of HOME DOG LA, an animal rescue intervention program, and they're parents to 9-year-old fashionista, Lake, and 5-year-old Charlie. They've got a bevy of mid-sized, fabulous rescue dogs and a corn snake, to boot. Hello, literal "full house"!

When we first walked into their home, we immediately sensed the innate energy within its walls - ebullient, mirthful, and wonderfully contagious. Most elements of the house didn't convey that innate liveliness and happiness, however. 

"WE MOVED INTO OUR HOME IN LOS FELIZ RIGHT AFTER THE BIRTH OF OUR FIRST CHILD," SAYS KERRY. "OVER THE YEARS WE ADDED ONE MORE KID AND 4 MORE DOGS! OUR KIDS WENT FROM BEING BABIES TO A 5 AND A 9 YEAR OLD AND OUR HOUSE NEEDED A GLAMOUR OVERHAUL! WE LOVE OUR HOME BUT ALL THE DECOR AND THE WALL COLORS WERE FEELING OUTDATED AND DULL . . ."

We sought to make a totally livable, 100% lovable space for this family of four and all their darling animals wherein beauty, richness, color, and light was infused into the space without becoming "precious" about anything. We felt like nothing newly introduced by us could be delicate and fragile -  in terms of textiles, accessories, and furniture, we brought in pieces that were hardy but spectacular: indigo cotton pillows and poufs, modern wool rugs, washable cotton coverlets, a variety of vintage lamps in sunny yellow and burnt sienna, a custom credenza made locally in L.A.; new paint colors for the master bedroom, den, and daughter's bedroom are bold and bright (deep azure, radiant yellow, and fuchsia, respectively) and we hung large-scale, abstract contemporary artwork from Los Angeles artists' whose work we adore, and these balanced perfectly the couple's rather substantial art collection, comprised predominantly of photography and representational paintings. 

For us, the challenge was in finding that fine, ineffable balance between the utilitarian and "sturdy" to ensure that the awesome Armstrong crew gleefully and comfortably lives with the home's changes, while also making the space come to life and reflect the joyful nature of its creative and captivating people. I think (and hope!)  we succeeded! Some Before and After photos are shown below, as well as a few individual room shots. 

This bedroom was a combination of pale blues and dapple-greys. Totally fine, for all intents and purposes, but a bit ho-hum. We proposed something more sumptuous and deeper, a combination of vintage and new. And they were ready to do it! Wall color is Benjamin Moore's Adriatic Sea; abstract painting by Los Angeles artist David Lloyd, bedding is Pine Cone HIll and Pendleton, ceramic lamps are vintage, bed and bedside tables are clients' own. 

Welcome to the bedroom of a rock and roll 9-year-old. Making the transition from her childhood wallpaper and furniture wasn't without its flashes of fear, but giving her the ability to choose the paint, bedding patterns, and art from our specific proposals made this 9-year-old a part of the transformation. And it's one helluva bedroom now!  A Warhol print hangs on Benjamin Moore's Hot Lips, vintage frosted glass desk lamp, anodized aluminum trunk for costume + accessory storage, custom-made pillows and zebra print coverlet, client's own bed, desk, and desk chair. 


Vintage indigos paired with sunshine yellow make this den glow. Painting by LA artist Ned Evans. Wall color is Benjamin Moore Dalila. Client's own coffee table, sectional sofa, and floor lamp. 

Vintage indigos paired with sunshine yellow make this den glow. Painting by LA artist Ned Evans. Wall color is Benjamin Moore Dalila. Client's own coffee table, sectional sofa, and floor lamp. 


A salon-style assemblage of their many animalium paintings makes the den of these dog lovers even sweeter. 

A salon-style assemblage of their many animalium paintings makes the den of these dog lovers even sweeter. 


A quiet space in the front alcove, which once served as the kids' art storage space. Credenza custom-made in Los Angeles, tall bright yellow table lamp and shade are vintage, pottery by Venice ceramicist Nancy Wright, black and white photograph is client's own. 

*(Total Lily Spindle re-design non-sequitur here, but if you haven't checked out DICE, do it as soon as possible. It is damn funny + clever.)

xx - Rebecca + Deb 


 

 

SHAPERS / / / LISA CHESTER SCHROEDER

A couple times a year, I'm lucky enough to be invited to dine in the magical Culver City backyard of Lisa Chester Schroeder and her husband, Denny. A lovely, warm, and gregarious couple, they never cease to amaze me and my man with the multiple courses of deliciousness (some of which has been purchased during one of their many international jaunts), accompanied by more than a few bottles of wine and hours upon hours of conversation. Ubiquitous at these dinners are artists, writers, designers, inventors, and, like any skilled hostess, Lisa assigns the seating, so you can't simply cozy up next to your partner and casually kvetch about the traffic on the 10 or your annoying new co-worker - your curiosity and amity concerning the unknown are mandatory elements of the consummate experience.

As Southern California mainstays for a long while, Lisa and Denny are close friends with many contemporary artists, so they've an enviable art collection, and having worked with Herman Miller in several capacities for nearly two decades, Lisa is a fount of knowledge about the company and its inner workings. Naturally we couldn't wait to chat with Lisa about the ultimate deities of design, Lisa's own rescue cats, and what she cannot go without during her travels in our SHAPERS Q+A*! Enjoy! ~Rebecca


Could you tell me a little bit about your job as a global account manager with Herman Miller? How long have you worked with the company?

I am fortunate to be entering into my 18th year at Herman Miller.  While working here, I have had many different roles.  Over the past 4 years, I have been leading the Western US as the Director of Sales for our Healthcare team.  Many people don't realize that Herman Miller has been providing solutions to the Healthcare industry for 50 years.  It all began with Robert Propst.  Providing solutions that can enhance the experience of the caregiver, the patient and the family members is incredibly rewarding. 

I imagine you have at least a handful of interesting anecdotes, having worked with Herman Miller for so many years. Would you be able + willing to share one of these unforgettable stories with Lily Spindle?

Yes, I do and yes, some of these I can not share.  But some I can.  What is interesting about your question is the way you asked it: "unforgettable stories".  After an employee has been with Herman Miller for 20 years, we become known as a Water Carrier.  In Native American societies, the water carrier plays an essential function that helps a tribe survive. Former CEO, Max DePree, introduced the concept of water carriers to Herman Miller in 1987, and described them this way in his book, Leadership Jazz: “The tribal water carrier in this corporation is a symbol of the essential nature of all jobs, our interdependence, the identity of ownership…” Part of the role of the Water Carrier at Herman Miller is to pass along stories to the newer employees within our organization.  One of the reasons we use stories is that this is a way we as humans can more easily learn.

Here's a story for you that you may not know:

In 1954, Charles and Ray Eames designed a home for Max DePree and his family in Zeeland, MI.  After residing there for approximately 20 years, he was contemplating selling the home.  Word got around town that he was considering the sale.  At the Herman Miller company picnic, one of our employees asked if he could purchase the home.  However, Max had not decided yet, if he would sell, but if he would, he would give the first option to buy to him.  The DePree family sold the home and the Herman Miller employee, Rynbrandt,  purchased it in 1975. Herman Miller purchased the home back in 2010 with plans to restore and preserve it.. The side story goes that Max began looking through old photos of the home to assist Herman Miller in the restoration.  As he spotted pieces of furniture that had been in the home, but had since been passed along to his family, he began calling his children to give it back in an effort to place back to its original "home". 

Charles and Ray Eames, posing with their chair bases. Photograph: Eames Office

Charles and Ray Eames, posing with their chair bases. Photograph: Eames Office

Collage of a room display for An Exhibition for Modern Living, 1949. Photograph: Eames Office

Collage of a room display for An Exhibition for Modern Living, 1949. Photograph: Eames Office

 

You are, as far as I'm concerned, a gastronome of significant proportion. Your dinners last for hours upon hours, replete with multiple courses, many bottles of wine, and a buzzing table of artists, writers, designers, and entrepreneurs. Did you ever consider making beautiful, delicious food your full-time passion?

Rebecca, yes, I have pondered this in the past.  However, at my age now, I enjoy simply providing my gift of cooking for friends and families.  I began cooking at 4.  When I was 6, my father told me that I should be a "food taster" in a restaurant. Back then, food critics and chefs were really not on the radar of my family in my small town. 

I have a dear friend that is a chef and caters beautiful meals, upon my retirement, I would love to work for her.


Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Morning. I get up most days between 4-5 am.


You and your husband, Denny, have quite a few rescue cats. What are their names and where are there most beloved sleeping spots in the house?

Nambe-on top of the cat tower
Sir Stirling-on top of Nambe
Julia Alexander-In the Eames aluminum chair
LBC (little black cat)-under the Eames sofa
Mija-on an orange pillow on the Eames sofa


Name your favorite Herman Miller design and describe it using three words.

Eames Molded Fiberglass Chair
-Comfortable
-Classic
-Sleek

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 10.42.13 AM.png

 

It seems like you travel a lot (like A LOT a lot) for your job. What are the things you never travel without?

-My coffee press and Peet's Coffee (two things, but they go together)


If you could have lunch with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? And where would you dine?

Julia Child in my backyard.


*Lily Spindle's SHAPERS profiles the people whom we consider to be remarkable movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, trailblazers and big thinkers, the people who are doing things a little bit differently and unconventionally, with immense heart, passion, and authenticity in what they do. Artists, designers, writers, philanthropists, iconoclasts, artisans, heroines, voyagers, and all kinds of extraordinary extraordinaires will be interviewed in our SHAPERS series.

Roll out the welcome mat with our top 10 doormat picks!

What better way to greet a new year than with the almighty welcome mat? From irreverent to elegant, the welcome mat says quite a bit about you in a mere 20 by 30 inches. It’s one of the very first things visitors see upon approaching your home and it’s a chance to showcase a bit of your personality and style, ‘cos you know you got it.

Incidentally, if anyone knows the history of the doormat and would care to share its anecdotal inception, we’re all ears – all I could manage to find on the information superhighway was that the word’s first use was in 1946 (allegedly). So much for an information superhighway.

In no particular order of greatness, here you go! TEN MATS to make your front, back, and side doors more awesome than you ever thought they could be. *(Lily Spindle insider tip: most of these can be just as fantastic when used indoors - for instance, a Chilewich mat by your kitchen sink is one of the simplest ways to add color and texture to your kitchen, renders sink-standing considerably more comfortable, and they're exceptionally easy to clean - just spray with cleaner and hose these babies down!)

These colorblock, textured mats made in Maine from reclaimed float rope are durable and pretty. Get 'em   here  .

These colorblock, textured mats made in Maine from reclaimed float rope are durable and pretty. Get 'em here.


Handmade in Oakland, CA, constructed using fire hoses, these beauties work in a mud room, garage, or at your front or back door. Get 'em   here .

Handmade in Oakland, CA, constructed using fire hoses, these beauties work in a mud room, garage, or at your front or back door. Get 'em here.


Proud dog owners, heads up! This jute doormat from Nino is available   here

Proud dog owners, heads up! This jute doormat from Nino is available here


Made in the Philippines, using scrap flip flop foam procured from sandal factories, making these dang pretty and environmentally kind, as well. Get 'em   here .

Made in the Philippines, using scrap flip flop foam procured from sandal factories, making these dang pretty and environmentally kind, as well. Get 'em here.


Hello, GORGEOUS. Make your visitors feel sexy + attractive, even if it's just the UPS dude with your Purple Carrot delivery. Get 'em   here

Hello, GORGEOUS. Make your visitors feel sexy + attractive, even if it's just the UPS dude with your Purple Carrot delivery. Get 'em here


In a bold graphic chevron and made of vinyl, this Catherine McDonald design is all sorts of audacious. Get 'em   here

In a bold graphic chevron and made of vinyl, this Catherine McDonald design is all sorts of audacious. Get 'em here


The Hippo mat, designed by Ed Annink and produced by the Amsterdam-based company Droog, is made of PVC and coir. Hungry, hungry hippo, anyone? Get 'em   here

The Hippo mat, designed by Ed Annink and produced by the Amsterdam-based company Droog, is made of PVC and coir. Hungry, hungry hippo, anyone? Get 'em here


We love these Chilewich shag mats in a major way. They're spectacular inside and out and are mega easy to clean. Get 'em   here

We love these Chilewich shag mats in a major way. They're spectacular inside and out and are mega easy to clean. Get 'em here


The Feet-Back II Radius doormat features a stainless steel base and plastic (replaceable) bristles. Made in Germany, you can get 'em right   here

The Feet-Back II Radius doormat features a stainless steel base and plastic (replaceable) bristles. Made in Germany, you can get 'em right here


A little humor (hand-painted, no less) never hurt anybody. BYE FELICIA! Get 'em   here

A little humor (hand-painted, no less) never hurt anybody. BYE FELICIA! Get 'em here

Hello, new year

Donut, Greta, Fred, + Lucie wishing you a healthy + creative + fun + beautiful 2016.

Donut, Greta, Fred, + Lucie wishing you a healthy + creative + fun + beautiful 2016.

It's 2016!

My husband and I stayed in last night, of course, as so many of us with animals do on these bacchanalian holidays, and endured a panting, pacing, panicking shepherd mix twisting her head maniacally towards the celebratory explosions in the sky until around 2 AM. Yay! Kablamo! Happy new year! Crikey.

OK, all that wild, inconsolable canine terror aside, a new year invites the very real opportunity to loosen the grip of whatever (or whoever) isn't serving you well and to create your own damn future, filled with much more of what you love, much less of what you loathe, and an expansion of this thing we're all in together.

I read this recently on Instagram and, heck yeah, it sounds hokey as shit, but it can be enlightening + powerful, seeing the disparity in those things and recognizing that you have the power to make changes in your world.

MAKE A LIST OF THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY
MAKE A LIST OF THINGS YOU DO EVERY DAY
COMPARE THE LISTS
ADJUST ACCORDINGLY

with love from me and Deb and the rest of the Lily Spindle cohorts.
xx - Rebecca

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
― Neil Gaiman


FIVE SIMPLE TIPS TO SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS

I sat down intending to write this post about the best modern holiday decorations or the top ten ways to make your house sparkle with holiday cheer using things you'll easily find in your pantry and then I thought, 'Holy smokes, we can't, in good conscience, tell our readers they should gleefully be placing glittery glass balls in a bowl or wrapping the banister with silver and gold garland while singing every carol in the book.'

This can be one of the most intense times of the year and I can't pretend it isn't. The holidays have the capacity to be magical. They can be beautiful. They can be heartwarming. And they have the potential to be incredibly stressful. I'm talking, like, insomnia-inducing, heart-palpitating, breakdown-inspiring stress. The gifts to buy, the traffic to navigate, the places to be, the food to make. Are you feeling superduperanxious yet?

OK, deep deep breaths, baby. We're going to help you alleviate the holiday stress and take it in stride, by being pragmatic and present and deep breathing (no joke). You can do it.

#1 - DEEP BREATHS BRING YOU BACK

It's SCIENCE -- deep breathing positively impacts your heart, brain, digestion, and immune system. Imagine that your deep breaths are the brake that stops a careening car (your body) from gaining additional speed and crashing into a brick building. One of the best and most effective breathing exercises I've learned is this: Breathe in through your nose for a FOUR COUNT; hold the breath for a SEVEN COUNT; release through your mouth for an EIGHT COUNT. Do this a few times and I promise you, it's like a shot of endorphin tequila leveling out your soul. (And then maybe do that shot of actual tequila anyway, just in case.)

#2 - LESS TIME CLEANING, MORE TIME BEING

The dirty dishes can wait. And you don't have to clean underneath the sofa before your guests arrive or take on the landscaping project of the entire backyard to start and finish in two weeks. If it's crazy-making to even consider the elements of resolving a project, that's a sign that the frenzy will only escalate as the insuperable reality of the job takes hold. Your friends won't care (or even notice, most likely) if your home isn't spotless (tip: it will never be truly "spotless"!). What's of much greater importance are the conversations and humor and time bonding with your beloveds.

#3 - YOU CAN SAY 'NO' + STILL BE LOVING

During the holidays, we're invited to about one billion fetes and events and gatherings and "white elephant" parties. If you're anything like me, you want to say yes, you want to be able to do it all, and do it all well. But, hey, will missing an art opening across town on a Thursday night be the worst thing in the world? NO. No, it will not.

Just say NO. Try it. Practice it in the mirror to get used to the sound of it coming out of your own mouth. Now, mindfully and with love, say no to the events you cannot make, the dinners you cannot attend. Set those boundaries, baby, because you're the only one who can.

Maple walnut pie from Huckleberry Cafe on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, CA. photo cred: Huckleberry Cafe

Maple walnut pie from Huckleberry Cafe on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, CA.
photo cred: Huckleberry Cafe

#4 - TAKE-OUT TIMESAVERS ARE NO-BRAINERS

Your favorite green bean and almond dish, butternut squash and arugula salad, and ginger cake with salted caramel glaze are tried and tested showstoppers. You don't need to make these delectable concoctions from scratch. Make it easy on yourself and order these elements of the holiday meal ahead of time and pick them up, ready to roll. No prep time = more time for you to breathe deeply and ground yourself.

#5 - BE NICE. BE GENEROUS. BE KIND.

Being altruistic to others makes us feel positively about humankind in general and specifically in regards to the people upon whom we're bestowing our magnanimity. And it goes both ways - the trust and connection created from kindness mirrors itself between the giver and the receiver. Giving releases oxytocin, the hormone released during sex (YOWZA!), galvanizing feelings of warmth and euphoria and connectivity. When you're on an oxytocin high, you feel more empathy and compassion towards others, and this high can become infectious, with the ability to kick off a "virtuous circle," person after person becoming generous and kind. Can you even imagine? A contagion of kindness making us all a bit cheerier and allied with one another? How phenomenal and astounding could that be?

Volunteering your time at an animal shelter, soup kitchen, hospice, community college or non-profit organization, or even donating blankets to an animal rescue you follow on Instagram and adore from afar can elevate your soul, reduce your stress levels, and, wonderfully and surprisingly, lengthen your joyful life.

Let's do this thing, holidays! You got this.

xx - Rebecca

How to sexy up that loo (we promise you this - it's pretty easy)

I read some time ago that men spend just under two hours in the loo on a weekly basis, while women will devote approximately one year, seven months and 15 days, over the course of a lifetime, to the loo (a month longer than men, incidentally). Some of us find the bathroom to be the only place we're able to discover privacy and peace, barricading ourselves behind a closed bathroom door. And maybe that's also why we stack books in there, to keep us otherwise occupied when we're avoiding the bedlam of our lives beyond the loo door. I personally have a copy of E.E. Cummings poetry and Carole Maso's "Aureole" in my guest bathroom at all times. Yeah, it's some high-brow stuff to display next to the toilet.

Since we evidently spend so much time in this particular room, I think it's important to give it a kick in the arse and infuse it with some beauty. Here are our Lily Spindle tips for beautifying your loo:

1) WHITE TOWELS ARE THE LYNCHPIN OF A SEXY LOO

I can't stress this enough. Soft, absorbent, textured or untextured, so long as they're white. Not only are they crazy easy to clean (a splash of bleach and your favorite non-toxic laundry detergent), but they take every loo to spa-status sophistication. (*additional tip: when your towels have reached their expiration date, cut those suckers up and make them into rags for housecleaning, et cetera.)

(image source: Pinterest)

2) ADD A SEAT (BECAUSE THE TOILET ISN'T ONE)

There's something elegant and unexpected about a side chair in the loo. If you have room for it, go for it. Not only can it lend color and texture and shape to a room that's basically all about function, but it's a decidedly lovelier place to sit when clipping your nails, isn't it?

(image source: Pal + Smith, Heritage Bathroom, Nanette Wong)

3) THE LOO NEEDS ART TOO

When you're not reading or meditating or staring at your own countenance in the mirror, I think you ought to be looking at something wonderful (not more wonderful than your own gorgeous reflection, of course, but wonderful nonetheless). Art in the loo is the ultimate in luxury (and need not carry a luxury sort of price tag, either). Whether it's the colorful resin sculptures made by artist Ned Evans (full disclosure here: he's my husband) or a framed vintage painting, artwork in the bathroom infuses it with levity and life.

(image source: T Magazine, Ned Evans)

4) HIDE YOUR FLOOR

Cowhides are extremely durable and outlandishly beautiful. And they're able to warm up a tile or wood floor instantly without a lot of fuss and maintenance. A well-placed sheepskin is another means to immediately sexy-ing up the joint. And what's better than stepping out of a shower or bath into this soft cloud of amazingness? If you have ethical issues against these elements, I hear you and respect you. That said, design studios like Pure Rugs, repurpose the hides after the fact, as the animal (after spending some time languidly wandering the countryside) has already become a part of the meat industry. *I've also personally been to the Pure Rugs showroom in Culver City, and it's just as lovely as the people who run the place.

(image source: Camellia Interiors, Pinterest)

5) SUPER SOAKER + TINY TRAYS

Assuming there's ample enough room to accommodate it, a soaking tub is like inviting a glorious deity to set up permanent camp in your loo and generally make your life more awesome. Claw-footed or otherwise, a soaking tub is the ultimate in relaxation. Better than an afternoon at Burke Williams and you can super soak until your fingers and toes are contentedly wrinkled! If you're gonna follow the wise words of Charles Eames and "take your pleasure seriously," this is how you do it.

And as for all those shea butters and body oils and q-tips and cotton balls - get those guys organized. It's incredible what a pretty little tray can do. This brass and acrylic one from Williams-Sonoma is a solid choice, as is this vintage Sheffield silverplate tray. Or you can go for a simple, straightforward (and very cost-effective) walnut tray like this one at CB2. Candles are key, of course, and I think it's always important to remember that while your pleasure must be taken seriously, you must not take yourself too seriously. There's nothing wrong with irreverence and a bit of fun like fashion designer's Andrea Pompilio's inclusion of an alligator figurine in his Milan studio loo.

(image source: Homebunch, The Selby, Minted)

Go forth and sexy up that loo of yours! If you've got any tips of your own you'd like to impart, something we may have missed in our five-tip list, or you'd like to get in touch with us to talk about your loo-in-need, give us a shout at rebecca@lilyspindle.com or debra@lilyspindle.com.

With love,
Rebecca
 







SHAPERS /// Todd Squires

Take one glance at Todd Squires' Instagram account (along with the considerable 46.5k followers already enchanted by him) and you're immediately a smitten kitten, enraptured by his urban architectural shots from any and all parts of Southern California, his irreverent and charmingly deprecatory selfies, his ingenious portraits of the beautiful humans he intimately knows or has just moments ago met for the very first time, and the magical captures of his constant and steady companion - Sonny the handsome Labrador mutt mix. He owns an independent framing shop here in Los Angeles, Fourth Corner Conservation Framing, and, as a photographer and the son of a lithographer, totally gets the artistry of framing and his now ten-year-old shop is a go-to for the heavy hitters of the art world like, ahem, Ed Ruscha. Todd also happens to be a lovely person, in addition to wildly talented, and we're honored to feature him as the first profile of many in our SHAPERS* series.

Ghost Bike, Todd Squires

Could you tell us a little bit about your framing company, Fourth Corner Conservation? How long you've been in business, who some of your favorite clients are, your most fun project you've worked on?

I’ve had my business Fourth Corner Conservation Framing, Inc. since 2003.  The idea behind starting it is to provide a nice experience for people who want to feel safe about the way have their artwork framed.  My approach is rather minimal and simple, and I make sure that the artwork will be protected from the outside elements that can cause future deterioration by using only archival materials.  A lot of people are afraid of going to the framers because they think they’ll be taken advantage of, or make the wrong decision with some sort of pretentious framing  designer.  I try to make it as easy and friendly as possible, using only the simplest explanations and making sure everyone understands the whole picture (no pun intended). I also enjoy woodworking with my hands and making a lot of the frames myself.  We hand join most of the frames, sand them down and finish them ourselves. I suppose there’s a certain pride to that.

You're pretty much an Instagram superstar and have IG meet-ups with fellow Instagrammers throughout California, yes? What makes Instagram so special in its outreach and sense of community, support, and creative energy?

I love Instagram because it has helped me rediscover my love of photography and has brought so much positivity to my life.  It started out as fun little picture sharing app, and soon turned into a creative obsession.  It has made me open my eyes to the world and see things a little clearer.  I also notice and appreciate so many more things. Soon after I started using Instagram, I noticed there were these things called instameets, where a bunch of like-minded lovers of photography (and the app in general) would get together and meet each other and explore the city together.  The fact that a social app can actually get people outside to be more creative, socialize, exercise and see more, I think is a true testament to the developers of the app.  I also love to use Instagram as a curator for my work when I have actual exhibitions.  I naturally only post photos I truly love and that resonate well with me.  Instagram helps tell me which ones resonate well with others, thereby allowing me to create a great comprehensive show.

How long have you had Sonny and has he always been such an outstanding model? Describe Sonny's personality and what makes him such an amazing companion.

From the moment I laid my eyes on my dog Sonny and stuck my hand through the bars at the Pasadena Humane Society, I knew he was the dog for us.  That was about 14 years ago when he was only 1 year old.  He is now 15 and still just as cute.  He of course has majorly slowed down over the past year, but he still maintains this playful spirit and nature that keeps me feeling alive too.  

 

When he was a lot more flexible, could hear, and was more athletic, it was easy to get him to run or sit or pose in all the ways I needed him to so I could take pictures of him.  He was always happy to do it too because of the attention it brought him.  There were also a lot of treats nearby too.  He has always been such a good listener and loved having the camera on him.  He especially loved it when I would set the camera up so I could be in the shot with him doing whatever silly or serious thing we needed to do to make a great shot.


Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I’m both a morning person and a night owl.  It all depends on when my creative juices are flowing.  I’ve been known to stay up late continuously working on my own personal writing, editing photographs, or editing my video art that I used to do. Mornings are when my mind and body are freshest, so I like to use that time to run or hike or exercise.  I’d try to trick my body before it totally woke up into doing active things, and it’s been pretty successful so far.

Name your top three favorite contemporary photographers and describe their work using one word.

Nan Goldin  — intimate
Catherine Opie — epic
Todd Hido — mysterious

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What are some of the things that influence you/your work and your aesthetic?

My influences change and stretch all over the place.  I am generally influenced by great philosophers who encourage people to think for themselves. Creatively, I can’t deny that Ed Ruscha has had a profound effect on my work.  His style, with light or object invading entire spaces from a corner, or his effective angles in his photographic documentations of his time in our city of angels. I think I’ve been influenced a lot by Rothko and his blends of color, and the way he might change perceptions of solid blocks of those colors by simply having them intrude into each other.  There are a myriad of filmmakers (Kurosawa, Kubrick, Wes Anderson, Orson Welles, the list goes on and on) and their cinematographer counterparts who have all shaped my vision of the world and the different ways you can present it through a lens.

What is your favorite room in the house and what surprises would we find there?

My favorite room in the house is the living room because it’s the place where all our friends mostly sit and talk and have a good time.  I also love the little office that is my mancave. It’s where all my technical creativity comes through.  The only surprise about the office is that it looks extremely cluttered regardless of the fact my mind is very structured.

If you could have lunch with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? And where would you dine?

I’d love to have lunch with Paul Rudd or Louis CK. If Hal’s were still around, I’d love to have lunch with them there.  One factor of my personality is deeply rooted in humor.  I think it’s actually one of my driving characteristics.  Both of these actor/comedians have brought so much joy to my life with their dry wit and hilarity.  I always wonder what it’d be like to just sit down with either one of them and see where our conversations would take us.


*Lily Spindle's SHAPERS profiles the people whom we consider to be remarkable movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, trailblazers and big thinkers, the people who are doing things a little bit differently and unconventionally, with immense heart, passion, and authenticity in what they do. Artists, designers, writers, philanthropists, iconoclasts, artisans, heroines, voyagers, and all kinds of extraordinary extraordinaires will be interviewed in our SHAPERS series.