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For The Love Retreat at Spirit Wind

We were so happy to host Emmy Lowe's For The Love, wedding photography workshop last weekend. They took some really incredible pictures and video at Spirit Wind and in the National Park. Check out this short video with some of the highlights:

January 16, 2017
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Hammock Circle of Love – Spirit Wind Joshua Tree

I'm very excited. I want 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.


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

October 1, 2016
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Spirit Wind Joshua Tree 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 10, 2016
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It’s Spring at Spirit Wind, Joshua Tree

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Jonathan and I bought Spirit Wind back in February, so this is our very first spring, seeing everything blooming. It's really exciting to see the whole desert coming to life. And it's especially exciting to see what we have on the property and to try to identify the flora and fauna.

The Joshua trees have been blooming for a few weeks now but the cacti just started a few days ago. The cholla all have buds on them but I think they may still be a few more weeks before they are in full bloom.


 

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This is Opuntia basilaris, AKA Beavertail Cactus or Beavertail Pricklypear. So far I found three of them in bloom at Spirit Wind. I think there may be more. The tips of the buds look to juicy and moist. Native americans used to eats the flowers and grind up the seeds to make a porridge. Maybe we should put a few in a salad?


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I was out on a walk last weekend with my mom and we came across this fat snake. It was 6+ feet long! I was really excited and went running towards it shooting photos, but my mom had other ideas and ran the other way. It seems pretty peaceful and not bothered by me getting near it. It was just slithering along doing it's thing. I looked it up online and I think it is a Gopher snake, which are generally considered pretty friendly. Spring is the beginning of snake season and I'm excited to see what other types of snakes live nearby. The Joshua Tree National Park site lists about 25 types of snakes that live in the park.

XOXO,

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March 21, 2016
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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 15, 2016
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Made in California with <3