Wed05062015

News

LASD, city move toward land discussions

The ice may be thawing a bit as the Los Altos School District and the city of Los Altos consider resurrecting discussions on the potential use of public land as a school site.

The city voted to discontinue conversations about civic land with the sch...

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Schools

Mental health expert dispels myths

Mental health expert dispels myths


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Palo Alto University Professor Paul Marcille addresses a crowd of psychology students and mental health activists last week about myths surrounding mental illness and violence.

In the wake of the 2011 Sandy Hook Elementa...

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Community

Q&A: Meet the city's new public works and administrative services directors

The city of Los Altos has hired three new department directors in the past ten months. The Town Crier recently profiled new Recreation Director Manny Hernandez. This week, the Town Crier profiles Susana Chan, new public works director, and Kim Juran-...

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Comment

Familiar icon pops up in Los Altos: A Piece of My Mind

I was walking to my car parked on State Street when my eye fell on an old familiar acquaintance from my early childhood, totally unexpected to meet in Los Altos. It was the “Steinway” logo over the door of the new Steinway Piano Gallery,...

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Special Sections

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Teaspoon, the milk tea shop at Village Court in Los Altos, above, serves a range of bubble teas and snow ice drinks, right.

Los Altos made it onto the milk tea map this spring with the opening of Teaspoon, a new bubble tea ...

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Business

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing


Alicia Castro/ Town Crier
C2 Los Altos tutor Max Shih, left, instructs Homestead High School student Rajesh Suresh.

Los Altos families have a new resource for helping their children ace the test.

C2 Los Altos – a recently opened education cente...

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Books

People

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

9/17/1918-4/15/2015

Dorothy Puder died on April 15th in Sunnyvale, California. She will be remembered for her gentle, loving, positive and caring ways and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

 PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View

PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View


Lyn Flaim/Spotlight Moments Photography
The cast of Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Once Upon a Mattress” includes, from left, Sophia Graziani (of Los Altos) as Winnifred, Chris Gough (Sunnyvale) as the Prince and Reilly Arena (Palo Alto) as the Queen. ...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Fabric animates interior design


Courtesy of Viscusi Elson
Fabrics in window treatments and on sofas and pillows add color and texture to any room design.

As an interior designer, I have to admit that I have a fabric addiction. Fabrics can be colorful and vibrant, simple and monochromatic, patterned, striped, floral, woven, printed, jacquard, houndstooth - the choices are endless.

Fabric is one of the most powerful tools I use besides my imagination. Even if you reject window treatments, your home will have fabrics on the sofas, chairs, beds, etc. The right fabric can inspire an entire room and evoke an array of emotions. For that reason alone, it is important to pay attention and give value and time to your fabric selections.

Interior designers choose fabrics carefully to subdue, accent, enhance and/or make a design pop. Fabrics are as unique and individual as finely crafted wines, a special piece of art or that family photo that is perfect for that wall.

Finding fine fabric

A variety of places produce fabrics in a vast array of qualities with endless design possibilities. My favorite countries in which to shop for fabrics are Italy, France, England, India and the U.S.

European vendors are known for their bold use of color, patterns and combinations of the two, often pulling from historical events to re-create a modern version. The craftsmanship of hand embroidery from India is so amazing that European fabric vendors will mill the background fabric and send it to India to have the layer of embroidery applied. Vendors and artisans collaborate from various countries to offer the ideal culmination of design and quality.

Who devises all of these patterns, color combinations and prints? I have always had a vision of fabric designers sitting quietly drinking wine and giggling about the names they give their creations (like names of paint colors), but I learned on my visit to a few of the European fabric houses that it is a much more complex process than that. The artisans draw inspiration from the world around them, cleverly churning out patterns that continue to inspire.

Designers sketch the patterns on paper, then artists handcolor the design to convey the intended vision. Once sold, the buyer can choose to follow the artist’s vision on color or restyle it to fit a collection.

New designs continue to come, fresh colors are produced and timeless traditionals are milled to perfection.

Of course, most people think of sofas and chairs when talking about fabrics, but don’t forget the other opportunities to present your own style through the use of fabrics on pillows, draperies, wall coverings, bed coverings, headboards, bean bags, dog beds and more.

When you begin a home project, start with fabrics that inspire you. Draw inspiration from the lines, patterns and colors. Integrate the use of fabrics into your budget from the beginning and watch your space transform.

If you are interested in viewing and handling some lovely fabrics, stop by my studio in downtown Los Altos to see what’s new. If you are fabric-obsessed like me, you may want to make an appointment, because, as I said, the possibilities are endless.

Gina Viscusi Elson, owner of Viscusi Elson Interior Design and Rutt of Los Altos Custom Cabinetry, is an award-winning interior designer with more than 20 years’ experience. Her showroom is located at 147 Main St., Los Altos. For more information, call 941-7800 or visit veinteriordesign.com. n

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