Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Escape from Alcatraz

I recently drew some design inspiration from a very unexpected place . . .

The story of Alcatraz is intriguing, but I had no idea that it was packed full of interesting architectural elements, steep winding walkways along lush gardens, and so much wildlife.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all beautiful . . .

This used to be the warden's house. I stood there and tried to imagine what it looked like before it began to collapse. I also wondered why it was in such a state. The island closed as a prison in 1963 and this seems like a lot of decay in such a short period of time.

The guard houses were completely in ruins and are now home to many creatures.

Some of the buildings on the island have almost a cottage feel.

If you are ever in the San Francisco area, you have to check this out!!! Such an interesting history and the audio tour is fantastic!

On another note . . .

Anna over at Chickens in the Basement, gave me a shout out on her blog!!! Thanks so much, Anna!! She also posted these questions that I thought would be fun to take a shot at:

1. What was the worst job you ever had? I worked as an HR Manager for a chemical manufacturing company a few years back. The job was sold to me as something strategic and interesting and I knew after two weeks I had made a horrible mistake; my boss sent me to the "Blair Witch" basement in this 100+ year old building to search amongst piles of crap for an ancient worker's comp file. It was all I could do to stay for 6 months!!!

2. In high school, what clique were you in? I was in the clique that skipped a lot of school with my dearest friend Lori (still my dearest friend). We would skip class and drive around listening to The Smiths and often frequented a record store called The Vinyl Edge.

3. Housework or yardwork? Yardwork! I will take diggin in the dirt to scrubbing toilets any day!!!

4. What was the last book you read? I am embarrassed to say that it's a tie between Flea Market Style, Romantic Homes and Country Living. Do magazines even count?!

5. Do you volunteer anywhere? Where and why? I was talking about this with a friend today. I used to go to a place called The Women's Employment Network here in KC to give resume and interviewing tips to women seeking to get off of welfare. I also used to talk to high school students about the same topics. As of late, I am remiss in my volunteering.

6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? I love that show on the Travel Channel with Samantha Brown. She once went to Crete and it was incredible. Cobble stone streets, really old stone buildings with so much character, local shops packed with hand made pastries and fabric. I imagined myself in a mosaic studio open to the sea on a winding old street where I could make my art.

7. Are you a happy person? My life is nearly perfect! I have an amazing husband who is sweet, but not in the conventional way. He had some particularly great quotes this week: "Kelly, you have a frame without a picture and a picture without a frame"; (about my living room) "Kelly, it looks like a nursing home blew up in here"; and finally, when I warned him that there was a giant lamp shade in our bathtub he said, "Of course there is" (I was trying to tea stain it, okay?!)

8. Do you have a veggie garden this year? What are you growing? I don't grow veggies but I recently acquired some rose bushes, a magnolia tree and some Japanese Maples and was outside staring at them tonight wishing them to stay alive and well despite my beginner garden skills.

9. What's your favorite cuss word? This is a family blog but my close friends know I do love my cuss words and that would be f&*%. It's just so versatile!

10. Who would you like to see in concert? (you can dream!) I would have loved to have seen Johnny Cash. Also, Robert Plant was super sexy back in the day and I think seeing Led Zeppelin in their prime would have been mind blowing.


  1. I've always wanted to visit there... i'm a "spooky stuff freak" and there must be some strong "feelings" left in that place.
    Great photos, i love the one of the warden's house.

  2. Girl, now that was entertaining...you learn so much about a person from their blog, without taking years of time away from each other, you can still stay in touch.

    Loved the lampshade in the bathtub...your husband sounds so cool! He's got a one of a kind and knows it...smooch back atcha!

    ...yeah, and why are the buildings on Alcatraz in such disrepair...very bad juju!!!