Wed07302014

News

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spendi...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

CARSTEN HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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