Thursday, January 30, 2014

Who Is Andres Amador?

Currently making the social media rounds are photographs showcasing beautifully created artwork on the sandy shores of Northern California near San Francisco by a local artist name Andres Amador. What tool does this artist uses to sculpt these masterpieces? A rake and a rope.

Bio from
Andres Amador was born in 1971 in San Francisco, growing up and surrounded by the famous building-sized murals of the Mission district.

After graduating in Environmental Sciences from UC Davis, Andres served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, where he developed conservation education curricula for rural schools.
Upon returning from his tour he began exploring the art scene of San Francisco, eventually leading him to Burning Man. 

This sparked an already smouldering journey of self-expression, which has spanned 15 years and multiple forms including dance and movement, sculpture and painting, all of which have been featured nationally and internationally.

The latest focus, the Earthscape Art paintings on the beach, was inspired while doing calligraphy on the beach with a walking stick. The artworks can span over 100,000 feet, achievable only during low tide. 

With tight time constraints and big goals, Andres is posed with the question: ‘How does one efficiently create from within that which one is creating?’ Explorating this concept of self-creation has brought Andres to investigate natural and human-devised systems of structure and growth.

His artworks does not last long- within minutes of finishing a piece, and often while still in progress, the returning tide begins resetting the canvas. 

Andres has been featured by the BBC, CNN and numerous T.V. programs and periodicals globally. His artwork has appeared on beaches in the US and internationally, with his primary canvas being the Northern California coastline.

For more photos of Andres work, visit

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Vaulted Ceilings: Waste of Space or Open Attraction?

By: Linda Bailey/

There are some people that look at a beautiful vaulted ceiling and see nothing more than a waste

of living space. Many rooms can be developed in these areas providing additional functionality

for larger families or creating space to set up a library or office. If there is sufficient room and it's

developed properly, you can add a full extra level to the house including bathrooms. However,

does a vaulted ceiling need to be viewed at in such a way?
(image via

Open Space - There are a lot of people on this planet that enjoy the open area that a vaulted

ceiling provides. Instead of the feeling of being contained in a box, there is a great deal of

freedom that is felt when moving about. This extra space can help you decorate with more

elaborate designs as you're not restricted to an eight-foot vertical plane - which is the average

height of a room from floor to ceiling.
(image via

Larger than it Looks - In many cases, vaulted ceilings make the home seem larger than it looks

from the outside. Although the same amount of space is being utilized, it has the "genii in a

bottle" effect where the home looks small outside while being enormous inside. It's nothing more

than a visual effect, but it could make the home buyer feel like he or she is getting more house

for their money.
(image via homedsignlovers)

Air Conditioning - Keeping the room at a regulated temperature could fluctuate greatly in a

home with vaulted ceilings. Unless the roofing material and the insulation were designed with

energy efficient components and compounds, your heating bills during the winter could be

somewhat high as heat rises. However, cooling in the summertime could be easy as cold air

sinks. The additional space does provide ample room to install energy efficient fans and systems

that can easily regulate the temperatures in the home.
A French chateau barrel vaulted ceiling (image via Elle Decor)

Noise from Above Foot Traffic - One of the drawbacks to having any room over your head is

the sound of various foot traffic by those in that particular room. Depending how the house is

built, the sound that travels can echo through the lower levels that could make kittens playing

sound like a herd of elephants trampling throughout the house. Perhaps children are playing in

the rooms above - this provides the same effect but the elephants are replaced by mastodons.

Every thump can almost be felt in multilevel homes.
photo via interest

Visual Appeal - Like most features of a home, vaulted ceilings are attractive to those who relish

in the beauty of a finely decorated system of braces and beams - even if these beams are fake.

To the right person, a vaulted ceiling could greatly increase the value of the home to a buyer or

renter. They can be designed with elegance and decorative carvings or additions adding can be

reminiscent of the outdoors such as living vines wrapping themselves around the beams. There is

so much that can be done to a vaulted ceiling to offer a wide variety of aesthetic nuance.

What it truly boils down to is taste. Although some enjoy the aspects of a vaulted ceiling, others

would rather have the extra room for functionality and expansion. Regardless of your housing

needs, there is no right or wrong way to decorate if you are happy in your surroundings.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from She is a Texas-based writer

who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She

welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @