Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

Vintage Photo Friday

Festive Party Attire, 1950

2012 should be an excellent year! 2011 was pretty good too. Usually, on New Year's Eve Larry and I go to an early movie and then out to dinner....casual, nothing fancy. Many restaurants in town have a New Year's special, charge too much money, give you lousy service and inferior food. Last year we ended up at our preferred restaurant, Pann's Coffee Shop for a delicious fried chicken dinner.
This year one of our favorite couples is having a party! This group of people are cuisine experts. Everyone is bringing their own special hors 'd oeuvres.....finger food only, no forks or spoons. It should be quite festive and sticky.
Not sure what to wear to the party. I'm thinking that a tiara or fascinator just might be the ticket to give me a party look!

New Year's Tiara
Standard Party Hats

Ellen's Bird Nest Fascinator

Oh Yeah! I think that wearing a bird's nest on my head will give me a look of refreshing beginnings for the New Year!!! What are you doing for New Year's Eve?

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Between the Holidays


Phew! Chanukah and Christmas are OVER! That's a relief. All of the running around, preparing food for parties, wrapping gifties...DONE! It was a wonderful holiday. Now, we have a few days of quiet before the New Year's festivities begin.
Just so I don't get too complacent and lazy, I'm having two couples over for dinner tonight! Claire and Tom, along with Brit and Dan.
This is going to be a thrown-together dinner...easy. Larry just finished painting one half of the kitchen yesterday. The paint is dry and appliances are back in place. NOW, the other side of the kitchen is a shambles....the eating side of the kitchen, not the cooking side. Luckily, most of the activity will be taking place in the dining room!

Tom and Claire
Brit and Dan

I look forward to a laid-back evening of visiting with friends! Happy pre-New Year, everyone!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best of 2011- Yarny Edition

My name is Ellen and I'm a Yarn-A-Holic. I am addicted to yarn and making things for me and for my friends and family.
I made LOTS of yarny stuff during 2011. Here are some of my favorites!

Blue and White Mini Pillows for Mom's Living Room

Spa Soap Coats for Gifties
Baby Ripple Blankie for Baby Boy Snyder

Rhoda's Koigu Cowl

Red Scarf Project Donation
I joined the squares made by our talented WeHo SnB Members for a ComfortGhan for Lynne

Larry's Mardi Gras Crown
Holiday Photo Garland for Carol & Thane

The "Darcy" Sweater for Me!
The Farmers Market Tower Hat

I have many unfinished objects (UFO's) sitting in my craft room, ready for completion or frogging in 2012! Happy New Yarn to everyone!
Info on all projects above can be viewed on my Ravelry project page.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

So Festive!

Yes, it's been a festive weekend for the Bloom-Underhill household! We started off the holiday weekend by heading over to the Tam 'O Shanter Inn in the Los Feliz-Atwater Village area on Friday night.

Many old friends convened in the bar for roast beef sandwiches and holiday libations. I just love that place!

Larry, wearing his Tam 'o Shanter at the Tam O' Shanter Inn

It's so cheerful during the holidays. The restaurant was decorated inside and out, there were carolers dressed in Victorian garb and the prime rib sandwich was divine!

The Tam has been in existence since 1922!

On Christmas Eve I made a flavorful dinner of baked ham, brussel sprouts, roasted potatoes and green salad. We spent a quiet evening at home, just puttering about. On Christmas morning we met Mom and Hal at Pann's for a yummy breakfast. This was the first year that Pann's was open on Christmas Day. It was definitely busy!

Chicken & Waffles @ Pann's

Later in the day, Larry and I opened our little gifts. We had a good day, lazing around the house, eating ham sandwiches and playing with our new toys.

One of our neighbors went a bit overboard on the Christmas balloon decorations this year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I'm not working this week, so blog posting may be sporadic. Best wishes for an excellent vacation!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays 2011

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday

The Original Farmers Market, 3rd & Fairfax, Los Angeles, Mid-1950's

You all know my love for the Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles. It's near our house. We're there ALL the time. The place is the vortex of Los Angeles. Eventually, everyone shows up there. The history of this beloved gathering place goes back to 1934!
My West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch (WeHo SnB) group meets there every Thursday night from 7-9 pm, upstairs dining area. We've been meeting since 2004. I LOVE this group and all of the peeps in it! We come from all walks of life, but have the love of yarn as our common denominator.
Last night was our annual Holiday Hat Party. Every year many of us dress up existing hats with ornaments and other holiday decorations. Some of us construct holiday hats from scratch. I've done both. This year I decided to step it up a notch and represent one of the places I love, The Farmers Market, in hat form.

Ellen and Reindeer Natalie
Members of the WeHo SnB

Yes, I won the grand prize!
Have a safe and joyous holiday weekend! Meet me at Third and Fairfax!

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

WeHoHoHo Holiday Hat Party

It's TONIGHT! Woo Hoo! This is one of the most fun Stitch 'n Bitch parties ALL year!!! Everyone will be decked out tonight in their holiday hats. Please join us from 7-9pm at the Original Farmers Market in the upstairs dining area. Bring your knitting and/or crochet and a treat to share!

WeHo SnB Group

For the past few years I've been haphazardly just throwing something festive together for my holiday hat. This year I really thought about it and have been working furiously to come up with the perfect chapeau for this event. I just put the finishing touches on my creation a few minutes ago. This is a sneak-peek of my hat for this year:

Ellen's Mystery Hat, 2011

Here are a few of our hats from past WeHoHoHo parties:

Laurie Ann and Jenna
Fascinating Ms. Natalie
Vivian and Brenda B.
Laurie Ann
Meet Me at Third and Fairfax!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Chanukah

Potato Latkes

Last night was the first night of Chanukah. Larry and I have been attending so many holiday parties lately, that we just wanted to relax, sit, eat and stare at the wall. This means no cooking for Ellen. So, we zoomed up to our local deli, Canter's on Fairfax Avenue. We ordered the traditional latkes (potato pancakes) with sour cream and applesauce. Larry had a half of a pastrami sandwich and a cup of navy bean soup. I had a delicious stuffed bell pepper. It was a perfect meal, served quickly, so we could go home and stare at the wall and the lights on our menorah.

Traditionally, you are supposed to eat foods prepared with oil for the Festival of Lights. The story of Chanukah that explains many of the customs is here. Another popular food for this Festival of Lights is sufganiyot, or little jelly-filled doughnuts, fried in oil (of course). I became familiar with this custom later in's a delicious Israeli or Middle-Eastern recipe.
When my cousins and I were children, Grandma and Grandpa Bloom would host a Chanukah party for all of us kids. After we multiplied, my Aunt Betty and Uncle Hi would host the party at their home. We're all very close in age, so there was a lot of running around and excitement. Aunt Betty made the very best latkes! She would deep-fry them! Yum! We fondly called them Kentucky-Fried Latkes!! Happy Chanukah!!

Chanukah, 1958 with the Bloom Cousins
Top Row:Kenny and Denny
Middle Row: Amie, Sasha, Grandma Ethel, Ellen, Barbara
Front Row: Barry, Carol

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So, What's the Bloom Family Story?

Color photos by Ellen Bloom, except where noted

photo, courtesy of Barbara Bloom

On Sunday my cousins, Amie, Barbara and Carol hosted a book signing party at my Uncle's home for his self-published book of memoirs. The book is called "So What's The Story" by Morton J. Bloom. It's not available on yet, but should be soon!

The Author with his daughter, Barbara

Uncle Mort, at the age of 94, decided it was high time to actually write down all of the family stories he'd been telling us for years. His daughters helped with this production....Carol helped Mort recall many facts, Barbara edited and compiled the book, Amie kept Mort on track and focused while working on this project. I offered many photos from my Bloom family archive, given to me by my Dad, George and my grandmother, Ethel.

Barbara, Carol, Larry, Judy

The book is over 140 pages long, filled with family history, photographs, drawings and even recipes! Yes, among his many accomplishments, Uncle Mort is a great cook!

It's always a pleasure getting together with all of my cousins. We have so many memories of growing up together in Los Angeles. I'm glad that many of them decided to attend from San Diego, Santa Barbara, Knoxville, Sebastopol, Massachusetts and New York!

Sasha and Ellen
Adrianne, Roz and Hal
Alex and Gena
Alex, Sasha, Ellie, Eda
JoEllen, Amie, Jessica
MacKenzie and Mike
Roz and Jo

Mort thoughtfully gifted each of us with a copy of the book. I'm thrilled to have this record of our family's history from the Ukraine, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Iowa, Illinois, Los Angeles and beyond! Thanks Uncle Mort. We all appreciate your recollections and generosity!

The Blooms, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, 1922
Top: Lawrence, Hi, Ethel. Bottom: Mort, George
photo from the Bloom Family Archive

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery