Friday, June 29, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday

September 27, 1930, The Sepulveda Tunnel,
connecting West LA to the San Fernando Valley

Los Angeles Times Photo Archives

Found this FANTASTIC photo on the L.A. Times Photography Site. Here's the direct link to this photo.
The story, posted by Scott Harrison:

Sept. 27, 1930: Following opening ceremonies, a procession of cars, horses and wagons proceeds south through the new Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel. After eight years of construction, the new tunnel connects the San Fernando Valley with West Los Angeles.

In an article the next day, the Los Angeles Times reported:

Leading a three-mile procession of Indians, Mexicans, Spaniards and other pioneers of the Southwest, who came by thousands in ox carts, covered wagons and on gaily caparisoned horses, Mayor [John] Porter yesterday turned a golden key and opened wide the gates of Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel, the new thoroughfare through the Santa Monica Mountains which links San Fernando Valley with the beaches and West Los Angeles. The eight-year project built eight miles of new highway at a cost of $550,000, the article noted.

This photo and story brings to mind our recent re-construction of the ramps and bridges on the San Diego/405 Freeway that parallels Sepulveda Boulevard. All of the freeway construction is magnifying our traffic problems on the west side of Los Angeles. Imagine what traffic would be like if we did NOT have the freeway! When I was a teensy, little girl, I remember traveling over Sepulveda with my family to the San Fernando Valley. It was the ONLY route to the Valley except over the canyon roads, further inland. We had to pack a lunch to survive a visit to relatives in Granada Hills! Have a wonderful weekend and stay away from the freeway!

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Thursday, June 28, 2012


Bauer @ LACMA

In addition to having a serious yarn hoarding obsession, I also have a pottery problem. I'm partial to the colorful dishes and accessories from the past like Bauer, Fiesta, Russell Wright and Franciscan. Many of these dishes are being reproduced. The new versions of these happy designs are usually dishwasher safe and their intense color glazes do not contain lead.

Russell Wright Pitchers @ Bauer Showroom
Bauer Dishes at Bauer Showroom, Los Angeles

Lately, I've been collecting some reissued Russell Wright dishes. I love all the muted colors. I've even gone as far as to GIVE AWAY old sets of dishes so I'll have room in my cabinet for more Russell Wright. For me, to get rid of dishes is unheard of. At lease these are useful objects, not just decorative.

Russell Wright Collection at Bauer Showroom, Los Angeles

I know. I know. Crazy, huh?

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Yarniness

It's getting hot here in Los Angeles, time to quit working on afghans, heavy shawls and other wooly items! In summer, I tend to work on smaller projects that don't sit in my lap and make me swelter. How about some dishcloths, potholders, light shawls, tee-tops, sun hats, etc.? Here are a few recent inspirations:

Summer Petals Cardigan by Julia Vaconsin

Summer Hat by Tracy GP

Double Bump Dishcloth by Missy Angus

Morpho Shawlette by Cheri McEwen

Modern Vintage Potholder by Maryse Roudier

Are you working on a summer yarny project?

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

He's Such a Boy!

Once again, my dear Husband has startled me, right inside our own house! A few weeks ago, we were running around, cleaning the house and tidying up for guests. We both manage to find hidden corners for all of our STUFF, so we can have clean and clear spaces in the living and dining rooms for extra people. You should see our closets! They are excellent hiding places. Oy!
I have this little mannequin in my craft room that I use for photographing toddler knits. He/she has appeared on my blog several times.

Ellen's Toddler Mannequin

During my last check-up of the house before our guests arrived, I spied my little mannequin in the guest/craft room. Larry had decided to "decorate" my Little One. Suddenly, he/she had a hideous clown mask on his/her face! Oh that Larry! Are you mocking my yarny hobbies once again? OR, are you jealous of the yarn and this is your way of acting out?

Crazy Clown Toddler

You may remember the time I went into the laundry room and saw one of Larry's ventriloquist dummies, sitting there, wide-eyed, smirking at me. I can't wait to see what he does to startle me next time.

Dummy Days with Little Jerry

Are we watching too many episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Twilight Zone?" Do we both have too many inanimate objects that look like children? Am I living with a mature, professional photographer or Dennis the Menace?

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Lapel Rose

Glenn's Crocheted Lapel Rose

On Thursday I spied a tiny crocheted rose in the lapel of a gentleman at work. This guy is Mr. G.Q., very well-dressed! I asked where he purchased the little rose....he proceeded to show me the button on the back of the rose that fits perfectly into the buttonhole on his suit lapel. He said he purchased it online. I searched a bit and found his vendor. This is a very sweet little rose and actually, quite reasonably priced.

Button-Back on Lapel Rose

Naturally, I had to see if I could make one myself. I didn't have any very thin crochet cotton on hand, but I did have some DMC embroidery floss. After a search through my button collection, I came up with a few of the proper sized buttons. I found a basic tiny rose pattern here.
I like my little rose, but it's a tad bigger than my co-worker's lapel rose. Must re-work!

Ellen's Crocheted Lapel Rose

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday

Automobile Club of Southern California, published by USC Digital Library

This is now the site of a new shopping center call Mid-Town Crossing. The new Lowe's Home Improvement Store is here, along with the usual Starbucks, Panda Express, Wells Fargo Bank, AT&T Wireless and Foot Locker. New buildings just do not match the beauty of the Art Deco lines of the old Sears!
I'm not even going to post a photo of the new building. It's totally unremarkable.

Sears Roebuck, Pico & Rimpau, Los Angeles, 1943
L.A. Public Library Archives, courtesy of Foster & Kleiser

Have a great weekend and remember to notice the buildings you drive by. They may not be there tomorrow.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Queen of Green

Knitted Noro Silk Garden Scarflette

Lately, I'm the Queen of Green. I've been knitting and crocheting with yarn in the green, blue and aqua families. Many of my friends favor this side of the color chart, so I'm stock-piling greenish items for future gift giving!

Crocheted Araucania Ranco Serafina ShawletteKnitted Aslan Guanaco Dot Shawl (in progress)

I did complete something that is NOT green. It's an afghan for a special cousin's wedding, coming up in July. I'm calling it "Diamonds are Forever." This is an afghan pattern that I memorized decades ago. I've made variations of this pattern over the years.

Crocheted Lionbrand Acrylic "Diamonds are Forever" Afghan

What are you working on now? Do you find that you tend to make things in one color family?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Family Family Family

It was a whirlwind weekend for family and friends. My brother and sister-in-law, Ken and Ginny were in town for a long-awaited visit. We wined and dined them, toured around L.A. and had a family gathering. Brunch at Marina del Rey on Sunday was great.

Many of our L.A. cousins, aunts and uncles were in attendance. I just love when the clan from both sides of the family...the Katz side AND the Bloom side...get together. I know everyone!

My Mom's older sister, Aunt Mae. My Dad's older brother, Uncle Mort

Ken, Carol, Amie, Ginny
Marilyn, Laurie, Carolyn.
The "Katz" girls were wearing appropriate animal prints!

We were also belatedly celebrating my Mom's 90th birthday. She didn't want any fuss, but we managed to sing "Happy Birthday" and place a few vintage photos on the tables. Everyone had a great visit with Ken and Ginny. It was truly a delicious and delightful afternoon!

Roz and Ellen
Front Row L-R: Mae, Hal, Roz, Mort
Back Row L-R: Laurie, Marilyn, Carolyn, John, Ellen, Larry, Ken, Ginny, JoEllen, Amie, Carol

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Friday Fun

Chuck's and Wes' divine punch. It REALLY packed a punch too!

My brother, Ken and sister-in-law, Ginny were in town last week. It was GREAT seeing them and being able to zoom around town and just hang out. On Friday I invited a few music-oriented friends over for dinner, along with Ken and Ginny.

Poached Salmon, Chopped Salad, Fresh Fruit, Rice Pilaf
L-R: Claire, Bill, Tom, Ken, Ginny, Wes, Brit, Mary Jo, Maggie, Chuck, Darcy, Billy, Ellen

It was a fun time for everyone. Ken played his bowed dulcimer a bit, Bill Lynch played and sang a few songs and we all had a rockin' good time!

Brit, Mary Jo, Darcy

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Vintage Photo Friday

"Clearing Out Locker", Birmingham H.S., 1957

It's that time of year....graduation time! Congratulations to all of the recent graduates. It's time to clear out your locker and make way for the new students.

The photo above is from the L.A. Public Library Archives. Taken in 1957 at the S.F. Valley's Birmingham High School for Hollywood Citizen News, Valley Times Collection. The caption reads, "Marilyn Gebhardt, 17, left, Birmingham senior class secretary, empties locker as one of the final chores prior to graduation. Janice Humphreys, 14, ninth grade student looks on."

Even though we're experiencing some June Gloom weather, I hope the sun shines on your graduation ceremonies! Have a wonderful weekend and a great summer!

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Mixer

Every year our neighborhood holds it's annual Welcome to the Neighborhood Mixer. This is a chance to greet new-comers and visit with old friends. We love the Mixer. Our 'hood does it up right too. We close off one block of Whitworth Drive, set up tables with umbrellas, decorate and serve food & drink. We have many caterers in the area that donate provisions.

Larry takes photos every year and there is a display of past year's get-togethers. Neighborhood information is given out too. Everyone is friendly. We meet the most amazing neighbors at the Mixer! We love our neighborhood!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I've spied lots of great free patterns online recently. Too many patterns....too little time!!! Here are some that inspire my spirit!

Sunnyside Up Tawashi
Chaussons Mignons
the instructions are in French, but there's a simple diagram to followGranny Triangles Hat
oooo...I'm thinkin' this would make an excellent Mardi Gras hat for next year!
Rainbow Drops
the tutorial is very detailed for this method

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yarn Bomb Day

San Vicente Blvd., Carthay Circle, Los Angeles

In addition to being World Wide Stitch in Public Day on June 9th, it was also International Yarn Bomb Day. Yarn Bombing is when guerrilla knitters and crocheters add bits of yarniness to public places. We even have a yarn-bombing group right here in Los Angeles! They meet the third Saturday of every month at the Craft and Folk Art Museum on the Miracle Mile.
I didn't participate in any bomb events this past Saturday, but I did happen to spy a result on my way to breakfast on Sunday morning. The bronze statue of the Carthay Circle Miner had an adorable kitty-ear hat on his huge head!! The Miner has quite a history. He's located on San Vicente, right across from where the historic Carthay Circle Theater used to stand.

My friend, Gale participated in a yarn bombing event in New Haven, Connecticut. You can read about it here and view a few of Gale's faboo photographs.
Here are some of my 2012 fave yarn bombs from around the world, found on Ravelry:

Downtown Oak Harbor, Washington by KnittEngineer
Wels, Australia by extremhaeklerin
Oregon, Post Hats by everwonder"Urbanization of the Irish Countryside" by Irene Lundgaard
(my personal favorite)

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery