A Dropped Hammer Becomes a Piano!


Bartolomeo Cristoferi had intended to construct a harpsichord, but when his bag of tools fell into the wooden body of the half-finished instrument he was building, he instead changed the course of musical history. The clamor of tiny hammers striking metal strings was unique — deep and grand. Indeed, the sound struck a […]

Our Kitchen Leads to Oatmeal Cookies!


Our kitchen is yellow and orange, warm like the sunlight that streams through the windows at five o’clock on a Saturday afternoon and hits the side of my face as I sit at the table, puzzling over a quadratic equation or flourishing a green highlighter over Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.




A Refuge in the Middle of Los Angeles

Griffith Park lies in the East Santa Monica Mountains, a 4,200-acre area about five miles from Downtown Los Angeles and fifteen from the Pacific Ocean. The park is not landscaped; rather, Griffith Park preserves the chaparral terrain native to California and provides a refuge from the city. The park is home to Griffith Observatory – […]

Sherlock Holmes Meets the Amazing Mary Russell

I met mystery author Laurie R. King during the production of Mysterious California, my parents’ 2008 documentary.

Laurie and Natalie on set of “Mysterious California”

Now, five years later, I have discovered Ms. King’s wonderful Mary Russell series.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice begins the series with 15-year-old Mary Russell meeting the retired Sherlock Holmes […]

A Surprising Witness to the End of the Civil War

After a trip to Charleston, South Carolina in the spring of my eighth grade year, I wrote about what I had learned about the Civil War both from our trip and reading non-fiction and fiction texts about the tumultuous time. One text was a storybook titled “The Silent Witness: A True Story of the Civil […]

Rembrandt's Diary

Rembrandt at age 63, self-portrait

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Until recently, when I would hear somebody mention Rembrandt, only one thing came to mind, “Oh yes, the artist.” That was all I knew: Rembrandt was an artist in another place at another time. Then I took a class […]

Natalie Teaches Us How to Make Deodorant

You can do this on your own or with a friend, or maybe even host a “Deodorant-Making Party” with friends, who will be delighted to take home what might be the loveliest, most useful and pampering party favor they’ve ever received.

You need 3-4 ingredients to make your own container of deodorant, which will […]

Knit On!

I’ve been knitting for 8 years, more than half my life, but have only recently discovered that I enjoy teaching people how to knit. After having made multiple scarves, a hat and a sweater, this year I became president of my high school’s knitting club. So far, twenty students have joined and the two meetings […]

From Los Angeles to Glasgow

First read Pamela’s post “Strangers on a Train” (so that you know who Andy is :-))

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dear Andy,

Thank you so much for your letter! Keeping the postal service going is a most enjoyable endeavor, since it involves writing long letters (and purchasing interesting stamps; I’ve put […]

Lego Land in the Attic

My friend Maddie and I have been playing with Legos together for three years, ever since we first constructed a miniature Harry Potter world in our attic, which is like an indoor treehouse. With the additions of the Burrow, Diagon Alley, and Platform 9 ¾, it has quickly expanded across the braided rug into […]