If you already got a sneak peek at the unfinished version of this post in your reader, you can thank Clover for that. She jumped on top of me and my laptop as I was working on it yesterday, publishing it prior to completion in the process, doh!
Anyhoo, I’ve been busy of late working on home stuff. Specifically, attempting to turn our second bedroom into a sweet room for Clover, complete with new big girl bed, while also carving out a creative corner/workspace for me (aka Thrift Candy headquarters ;)
For inspiration, whenever I get to thinking about how I want to arrange and display things in my home, I will inevitably turn to my little collection of treasured 1970’s handmade homes and interiors books, thrifted on a very lucky day about a year ago when I entered Sacks and found all five of them sitting out on a table priced between one and three dollars each.
The set (I'm assuming they were all donated together by the same person) includes this amazing book, so wonderfully blogged about previously by Heather, as well as this one published later by the same authors. There’s also one called Living Places and another really cool one about loft spaces.
I’d been holding out on blogging about them because I was really hoping to get my hands on a scanner, which didn’t happened, then I just didn’t get around to it. Until now that is!
Photos from the handmade houses books, awesome as they are, have already been blogged, flickr-ed, and tumblr-ed quite a bit, so I thought I’d share my favorites from this awesome book about converted and handmade Houseboats as I’ve yet to come across it anywhere else.
Still no scanner, but I did my best taking photos of the photos and cleaning them up in Photoshop. All italicized passages were taken straight from the book, which was published in 1977, enjoy!
"I'll stay on the water always. It's moods constantly change. The fog lifts. The tides roll in. That's one of the beauties."
Alone in a cove with evergreen surroundings, a young woodcarver and his wife picked a homesite where there was plenty of driftwood. "We didn't buy a stick of wood. And the wood we found on the beach was full of nails, so we got those free too!"
"You just start cutting holes in the walls and putting in windows!" What was once an old wood hauling barge, then a neglected houseboat layered with red and black paint, blossomed after months of scraping and scrubbing. Plant garlands trail past stained glass and exquisite carvings... products of the tiny workshop in the bow of the boat.
"I feel like I'm living in a childhood fort. I guess I took Peter Pan too seriously." "Retiring" to a home on the water, an ex-school teacher joined two cabins from the ribs of another boat. On summer's first warm day, she unceremoniously moves kitchen, complete with stove, onto the deck! Behind her casual mooring is her mini-farm... blooming with flowers, vegetables, goats and chickens.
Inspired by Balinese masks, Annie makes her own creations from paper mache. They stare fiercely down from the walls. And near her bed, a collection of neglected flea market dolls has found a new home.
Transported in parts around the Horn from the East in 1870, this stately old sidewheeler ran between San Francisco, Mare Island, and Vallejo until 1948. Inside, the Vallejo sparkles with the paintings and sculptures of her former occupant, Jean Varda.
Dragons, puppets, and play costumes were designed for "play days," a new adult therapy developed by Vallejo occupant Mariam Saltzman to recreate the carefree magic of childhood.
Vallejo quarters are shared by young artists and poets... who celebrate sundown with a musical interlude on deck.
Kids and water? The mix is a happy one on this World War II landing craft. The ever-present life jacket protects them from an occasional tumble off the deck. At night, the tides rock them to sleep under the patchwork windows of a "free form" geodesic dome.
Nestled at the foot of Manhattan Island. Moored in the heart of Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Tucked into sun-speckled bayous near Pierre Part, Louisiana. In the midst of Sausalito's 'hip' culture. Houseboats reflect a hedonistic Great Gatsby lifestyle, a homespun simplicity, a mellow oneness with Mother Nature.
They create envy in the hearts of us confined to the stability of land. They reflect a colorful past and hope for the future... But most of all, they reflect their people.
While delving further into the colorful past of The S.S. Vallejo, home to artist Jean Varda and Zen philosopher Alan Watts during the late 60’s in Sausalito, CA, I came across this interesting site about it’s history and got caught up in reading the fascinating transcripts from an event called The Houseboat Summit which took place on the Vallejo in February of 1967, the winter leading up to The Summer of Love.
It was a publicly held counterculture-centered conversation (intellectual, philosophical, political, spiritual, and at times just plain silly in nature) between Timothy Leary, Gary Snyder, Alan Watts, and Allen Ginsberg. I found it fascinating to read about their thoughts on the future during that pivotal time from the perspective of the future they were speculating about.
My favorite exchanges are when Timothy Leary goes off on some wacky “turn on, tune in, drop out” tangent and Gary Snyder pipes in, quite eloquently calling him on his crazy, so to speak, while often putting forth something profound in the process, he was definitely the voice of reason in this group!
It’s interesting stuff though, and actually kinda hilarious and entertaining at times. Here’s a lighthearted exchange that I thought I’d share for it’s obvious relevance to this here blog ;)
Watts: But the thing is this. I've found so many people who are the turned on type, and the circumstances and surroundings under which they live are just plain cruddy. You would think that people who have seen what you can see with the visions of psychedelics would reflect themselves in forms of life and art that would be like Persian miniatures. Because obviously Persian miniatures and Moorish arabesques are all reflecting the state of mind of people who were turned on. And they are rich and glorious beyond belief.
Watts: Majestic! Yeah! Well now, why doesn't it so occur...It is slowly beginning to happen...'Cause I've noticed that, recently, all turned on people are becoming more colorful. They're wearing beads and gorgeous clothes and so and so forth...and it's gradually coming out. Because you remember the old beatnik days when everybody was in blue jeans and ponytails and no lipstick and DRAB--and CRUMMY!
Snyder: What! (laughter)
Watts: Now, something's beginning to happen!
Snyder: Well, it wasn't quite that bad, but we were mostly concerned with not being consumers then...and so we were showing our non-consumerness.
Watts: Yes, I know! The thing is I am using this as a symbol because the poor cons in San Quentin wear blue jeans.
Snyder: The thing is that there are better things in the Goodwill now than there used to be.
Watts: Yes, exactly. (laughter) But the thing is that now I see it beginning to happen. Timothy here, instead of wearing his old--whatever he used to wear--has now got a white tunic on with gold and colorful gimp on it.
Watts: Yes, and it's very beautiful, and he's wearing a necklace and all that kind of thing, and color is at last coming into the scene.
["Gimp?"...haha, that part totally cracks me up. Not so sure where Watts was goin' with the poor cons in San Quentin thing though?]