Friday, January 19, 2018

Winter Knit-spiration

My favorite wooly sheep photo by Gale Zucker, 2009

This is Los Angeles. It's hot one day, cold the next. Of course, we're not having freezing temperatures like our friends in the east, but, for me, 60 degrees is really cold! I'm a native Angelina. My blood is thin! We need toasty, layered knits to keep us warm.
Here are a few patterns in my Ravelry queue that are perfect for this cold snap that we've been experiencing. Links to each pattern are in the captions.
Ribbie Taiyo Scarf

Leaving Cowl

Fireside Gingham Afghan

Moose Fair Isle Hat

Pom Pom Happiness Shawl

All of these patterns are guaranteed to ward off a chill! What are you crocheting and/or knitting right now?

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Hollywood Classic

Established 1919

In celebration of Larry's birthday this year, we went to an early movie ("The Shape of Water") at the ArcLight, then had dinner at The Musso and Frank Grill on Hollywood Boulevard. We loved the movie, which gave us a lot to talk about over our divine dinner.
We always like going to this classic Hollywood restaurant. The service is great, everyone is excited to be eating at this landmark and the food is really good!
Center Aisle Booth

We were seated in the perfect spot for people watching...a booth in the center aisle, opposite the parking lot entrance. People walked right by our table on their way into the place, ditto, on the way out! We even saw my old radio boss, Larry Mantle with his lovely wife, Kristin and their son, Desmond!
Kristin, Desmond and KPCC's Larry Mantle
Of course, we started with cocktails. Larry had the famous martini and I had a Pimm's Cup. Delicious. We split a Caesar salad and wolfed down all of that gorgeous sourdough bread.

Larry ordered the Grenadine of Beef and I had the Bouillabaisse Marseillaise which was chock full of  shrimp, lobster, mussels, clams and cod. There was even a tiny bit of yummy soup at the bottom of the bowl.
Grenadine of Beef
Chocolate mousse cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream and the obligatory birthday candle was shared for dessert.

Musso's is such a happy, welcoming place. Everyone is friendly, especially the maître d'. He didn't stop smiling the entire time we were there!

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and want to return for the famous flannel cakes for breakfast one of these days!

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Blinky, the Friendly Hen

I've known the story of Blinky the Friendly Hen for decades. In 1978 artist, Jeffrey Vallance bought a frozen fryer chicken at the Ralph's Supermarket in Canoga Park. He later buried the chicken at the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery after a brief memorial service. He also installed a grave marker for the frozen bird, naming it Blinky. Vallance wrote that he thought of Blinky's grave as being like the grave of the Unknown Chicken, representing all the millions of chickens who are slaughtered and sold as food.
According to KCET, "Ten years later, Vallance would have the body exhumed so an autopsy could be performed by UCLA's head of pathology.  The tenth anniversary exhibit on the life of Blinky, at the Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Los Angeles, featured a 'shroud of Blinky,' and a recreation of the cemetery's viewing room, with a rubber chicken lying in state. Blinky was later reburied at the cemetery."
Vallance wrote a book about this conceptual art piece 10 years ago on the 30th anniversary of Blinky's memorial.
The Memorial Park is lovely

On our day off, Monday, we decided to drive out to Calabasas to visit Blinky's grave. It was a lovely day. I'd never been to a pet cemetery before. It was very interesting. This cemetery was founded in 1928 by veterinarian Dr. Eugene C. Jones. There are over 40,000 animals interred with in it, ranging from cats, dogs, horses, parrots, a lion and of course, Blinky the Friendly Hen. I really liked looking at all the names of the various dogs and cats near Blinky's grave.

The Mausoleum was built in 1929, adorned with stained glass windows
I have never owned animals, but many of my friends do and I know how much a beloved animal can mean to a person and their family. This park is the embodiment of animal love. It's definitely worth a visit.

L.A. Pet Cemetery, 1939, WPA Photo by Burton O. Burt, L.A. Public Library Archives

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Park Moderne, Calabasas

Larry and I headed out to the hills of Calabasas on our day off yesterday. We had a double mission. First, to see the fountain at Park Moderne; second to visit Blinky. Blinky's story will be told tomorrow.
In 1931 art dealer and lover of modernist architecture, William Lingenbrink founded a small artist's colony in Calabasas. He wanted the artists who supplied his art gallery to have a natural environment escape from the City where they could be free and create. The lots cost just under $600 each. Most of the modest cottages were designed by Jock Peters and a few by his mentor, Rudolph Schindler.
A few of the now demolished cottages at Park Moderne

Besides designing the modernist cottages, Jock Peters also designed the fountain which is about the only structure that remains from the 1930s in Park Moderne. 
We parked at the bottom of the hill and ascended the Bird Path to see the fountain.
All of the streets in this area have bird names

The path was steep and narrow, running between two homes. Once we made it to the top we were rewarded with an Art Deco fountain that has supposedly been restored, but could use a bit more work, designed by Jock Peters.

The cement was stained different colors. There was this interesting art glass in a portion of the piece. I'm sure when the fountain was operable with water flowing, it was quite a striking piece.

The art glass embedded in the cement resembles water

Sadly, all of the modernist structures are gone, replaced by newer, large homes. It is still a lovely, wooded area where birds and wild life abound. At the bottom of the hill on Hummingbird Way, there was a particularly intense wrought iron fence depicting the hummingbirds!
The Hummingbird fence on Hummingbird Way, Calabasas

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Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK's Words in Yarn

This has become a tradition on "L.A. Is My Beat."  For the past seven years I have been featuring Suzanne's MLK sweater on my blog in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. I will repeat  again this year because I'm so in love with this idea and in awe of Suzanne's mad skills. 
Suzanne's Sweater honoring the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The sweater pattern is from "Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines."  The name of this sweater is "Margaret," designed for the book by Mary Neal Meador.  The instructions state that the sweater may be embellished after knitting with chain stitched quotations of the knitter’s choice.  The sweater in the book has poetry added to the front and back. 
When I saw Suzanne's ("owlknits") sweater, I was touched by the words she chose.  This is from Suzanne's project page on Ravelry: 
I knit this sweater for a local art exhibition that was organized to honor the ideas of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I used quotes from his “I have a dream…” speech to embroider on the front and back of the sweater: Front: Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. Back: The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the day of justice emerges.

I am still blown away by Suzanne's sweater and her choice of quotations.  One day I will make such a sweater for myself.  Bravo!  Excellent work, Suzanne, honoring an eloquent man and his ideas! 

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Friday, January 12, 2018

Happy Birthday Larry!

Happy Birthday Party Boy!

Today is Larry's happy birthday! This afternoon we're going to the movies, topped off with a delicious dinner at Musso and Frank's in the heart of Hollywood! They serve the BEST martinis!
Larry is not on social media, but I have been receiving birthday wishes for him since yesterday! ALL of your friends wish you a very happy birthday, my Sweetie!
Larry's friends gathered to wish him a happy birthday!
We will have many more opportunities over the weekend to celebrate Larry with parties, brunches, dinners and more. I look forward to marking this day with you, my Love!
From 1991 to today, you're still goofy and adorable!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Year. New Projects.

I have a few yarny projects hanging around from 2017 that I will finish soon. I am, however, already thinking about some new directions in yarny holiday ornaments for December 2018! How cute are these?
How adorable would a STRAWBERRY look hanging from a tree branch?

Elf Christmas Rag Doll

Stjärna is such an elegant star!

In the meantime, I'm working on a baby afghan for my Cousin Myrna's great-grandchild; just finishing up another Belle Epoque shawl; and working on a top-down cardigan with a Fair Isle look. I call it my "fake" isle!

Ellen's "Fake" Isle Cardigan
What are you working on in 2018?

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Monday, January 08, 2018

Morning at the Museum

Ballet costumes by artist, Marc Chagall

Last Saturday I had a FREE DAY! I rarely have a Saturday where I don't have some sort of lesson or appointment scheduled. I decided to visit the L.A. County Museum of Art. We live down the street from the Museum, are members and don't visit nearly as often as we could! It was the last weekend of the Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage. I've always loved Chagall's artwork. 
I was pleasantly surprised by the fluidity and inventiveness for these ballet costumes. Most of the costumes were from the 1940's, except for the 1967 production of the "Magic Flute." 
Costumes for "The Magic Flute" by Chagall

I'm getting some excellent ideas for next year's Stitch 'n Witch costume extravaganza!

Another exhibit in the Resnick Pavillion at LACMA is "Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915-1985.  This is part of the "Pacific Standard Time LA/LA," a city-wide exhibit discussing the collaboration and co-mingling of art from Los Angeles and Mexico. We are in very close proximity to Mexico (in fact California was part of Mexico in the past) and have been sharing artistic ideas for centuries! This is an excellent exhibit detailing all sorts of design movements in architecture, advertising, fashion, the applied arts and more.

Vintage travel poster by David Klein, showing Mexico's influence. Visit the San Juan Capistrano Mission!
Dishes by Mexican Modernist, Jose Pepe Mendoza, brass and malachite
Flossie doll, 1961 and Esmeralda doll, 1964 by Marilyn Neuhart, influenced by Mexican Folk Art
My beloved "Hollyhock" (cement and sand), designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Aline Barnsdall's Hollyhock House at Banrsdall Art Park

This exhibit runs through April 2018. I urge you to see it. It's small, but packs a punch!
On my way out of the Museum, I passed by "Urban Light," the lamp post installation by Chris Burden. This is a genuine landmark in Los Angeles now. Of course, I had to take a photo of a girl posing in her quinceañera gown for photos!

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