Monday, October 22, 2018

Annual Dishcloth Swap - 2018

Eve, looking a bit overwhelmed at all of the swap packages

We usually have our Annual Dishcloth Swap on Labor Day. This year Swap Moderator, Eve and her family were in Europe at that time. Our swap was delayed a month which gave everyone plenty of time to enter this fun Ravelry activity! We had plenty of entries!
Here are just a few photos of some of the most lovely dishcloths for 2018!

It was a bit overwhelming, but we managed to take photos and stuff envelopes in about two hours. Of course, we stopped for snack breaks too! We've been moderating and implementing this swap since 2010! Thanks for the pretty bouquet of flowers, Eve! I had a fun afternoon!
Eve and Ellen with Swap Dishcloths - 2018
Ellen's Swap Dishcloths - Thank you!

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Friday, October 19, 2018

The Big Eyeglass Frame Sale of 2018

OK! This is it! People are ALWAYS asking me where I buy my eyeglass frames. Every year in October L.A. Eyeworks has this AMAZING sale. You can buy frames for as little as $25 and as much as regular price (which is a lot)! I used to go crazy at this sale, but now I'm slightly more conservative in my choices and with the amount of frames I purchase. If I find one or two good ones, I'm happy!
2006. Sometimes, during the day it's hot. When there's a line outside, L.A. Eyeworks provides parasols to its customers!

Larry and I have been attending this annual sale for at least 12 years! It's always a fun evening. We tend to go during the dinner hour. It's less crowded then. You don't have to worry that you may miss something. They offer multiples of every style and they keep bringing out boxes and boxes of frames throughout the weekend!
2010. Owner, Gai, Ron (RIP) and Tetsuji
We almost always run into friends at this sale. We also usually make some new friends. When trying on eyeglass frames, it's always good to get the opinions of others, especially if they don't know you. Honesty helps.

Natalie and I like to be twinsies! I bought the orange frames. Why didn't I buy those aqua ones?

2010. Rhoda almost ALWAYS buys red frames!
Stephanie and Diane are excellent shoppers
I told my ukulele teacher, Cali about the sale and she went NUTZO, purchasing many pairs of frames, including these adorable hot pink ones! Photo by Craig Brandau

Larry tries on everything, but usually ends up buying the same style every year!

One year, Ruth and I bought the same frames. These are my faves. I wear them all the time.
2009. Natalie and Joe with that Italian Riviera look
So, next weekend, if you have an hour or two to spare, hop on over to Melrose Avenue and check out the frames at the L.A. Eyeworks sale. You will not be disappointed!

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Monday, October 15, 2018

LetterPress Chocolate

LetterPress Chocolate, 2385 So. Robertson Blvd., Beverlywood

Recently, I read about LetterPress Chocolate. I was intrigued. I was even more enthusiastic when I read that this little factory/store was next door to one of my neighborhood bakeries, Fred's on South Robertson Boulevard. I had a little extra time on Saturday, so I stopped by.
 
This is a small shop with the artisan chocolate factory in the back. There are displays of their "bean to bar" chocolate bars, a few tables and a refrigerator with some beverages. 
The Chocolate Kitchen

You can read the story of their operation through photos on the wall. They have letter press wooden letters on the walls as decoration. It's a pleasing environment. Their chocolate is sold at many shops in Los Angeles, but why not come to the source? Easy street parking!
The lady working at the counter was very kind and explained about their chocolate and even gave me some samples to taste! I could definitely taste the difference between the various chocolates.
Chocolate Samples
All of the chocolate is dark and the beans are sourced from different parts of the world. If you're used to wolfing down a Hershey bar, this chocolate is not for you. I'd compare it to fine wine or fancy coffee beans. The bars are expensive, at least $10 each, but you only need a tiny taste to be satisfied. I picked up a few bars for gifts and one to share with my knit friends at my next stop, The Ocean Park Fiber Artists in Santa Monica. Everyone loved the chocolate!

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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Wende Museum

Ephemera at The Wende Museum

During my brother, Ken's visit to Los Angeles we managed to sneak in a visit to The Wende Museum in Culver City. I've been wanting to visit ever since it opened in the former U.S. National Guard Armory in Culver City in 2017. It takes out of town visitors to prompt exploration of our city!
Ken Bloom at The Wende Museum, Culver City

The Wende Museum of the Cold War is more than just a building holding artifacts, it is an art museum, historical archive, musical and educational institution. "Wende" is a German word meaning "transformation," a period of transition and change leading up to the toppling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991This fascinating museum was founded in 2002 by Justinian Jampol, an L.A. native (and boy wonder) who traveled and studied in Eastern Europe. He started to collect everything he could find related to the Soviet Union and the former Eastern Bloc. Historical artifacts from this era were being destroyed during this time. Jampol's collection was brought back to Los Angeles. He organized the collection and established a non-profit organization to fund it. Eventually, the collection was moved to Culver City.
Storage and Library

The Wende is easy to find. It's just west of Veteran's Memorial Auditorium on Culver Boulevard. There is plenty of free parking surrounding the building.
Cultural Artifacts



I was most impressed with the design of the interior and exterior of the Museum. Depending on the current exhibition, the huge building is divided into hallways and rooms that are easy to navigate. At the east end of the building is a lovely garden area with benches, meeting rooms and offices. 
Ken and Larry, outside at The Wende Museum

Air Raid Siren

This past weekend, there was a 1977 Wartburg 353 automobile, a car produced in East Germany. It looked very practical, except for it's snazzy color!
1977 Wartburg 353 Automobile
Concert Area

There was a piano set up inside the Museum. I would like to go back for a musical performance in the future. I also want to return to thoroughly tour this fascinating collection! I'll see you there!
Vandalized Lenin Bust, 1965/1989. Plaster. This icon was spray-painted in pink and turquoise by protesters.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Philippe's 110th Anniversary

WOW! 110 years in business in Los Angeles. That's a very long time for any restaurant in this fickle town! Philippe The Original opened in Los Angeles in 1908. This home of the French dip sandwich has been in it's current location since 1951. I've been visiting here ALL of my life! Sometimes, I make a special trip downtown just to purchase jars of their fab mustard for gifts!
On Saturday night, artist, producer, writer and all-around great guy Gregg Gibbs hosted his art show, "Sandwiches & Carvers" in the upstairs dining area at Philippe's. 
Ellen with artist, Gregg Gibbs

The show continues through October 6th. There are 70 oil paintings by Gregg of sandwiches sides, and pies, and portraits of the carvers who serve them. The show is a delicious homage to this L.A. institution. 
Photo and Painting by Gregg Gibbs
This looks like the turkey sandwich
"Rosina," a carver at Philippe's


We attended with our friends Audrey and Jeff. We saw many friends and lots of familiar faces from the downtown L.A. art world.
Audrey with carver
Panorama photo, courtesy of Gregg Gibbs. The DTLA art brain trust, including Larry Underhill, Henry S. Rosenthal, Suzanne Williams, Mat Gleason, Anthony Ausgang, Robert Williams and James Scott
Our usual meal at Philippe's consists of either a dipped beef or lamb sandwich, 2 lemonades each, sometimes we have cole slaw, and ALWAYS have a baked apple for dessert! Naturally, we slather that hot mustard all over our sandwiches.
Ellen's and Larry's go-to meal at Philippe's
I was MOST attracted to the exhibition area that featured the sides and pies paintings by Gregg. Someone had already purchased the hot mustard painting, but the baked apple was still available. It is now mine!
Sides and Pies paintings by Gregg Gibbs. Photo by Gregg Gibbs. I rather like those pickled, hard-boiled egg slices too!
My "Baked Apple"

If you have a chance, do stop by Philippe's for a sandwich and take a look at the paintings upstairs. There are still some wonderful choices for sale!



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Friday, September 28, 2018

The OTHER RedKat

Last night our West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch group held a baby shower for one of our long-time members, Sarah. On Ravelry Sarah is known as "SarahSparkle."  Miss Natalie, our Cruise Director, named the new addition to Sarah's and Leon's family  "Sparkle Chen."  Perfect!
Sarah and Leon
I crocheted a red kitty cat softie for the new baby. I like the name RedKat. We have a performance space in Los Angeles, next to the Disney Concert Hall called Redcat. This stands for Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater.
The project was fun to crochet! I also knit a red tweed baby kitty hat for Sparkle Chen so he could look like his RedKat softie. I can't wait to see them posing together in their kitty ears.
RedKat Ravelry Page, Crochet Details

The baby shower was a success! We had to move from our usual upstairs dining area at the Original Farmers Market to a few tables downstairs, but we had a grand time. Cupcakes for all! I know that Sarah and Leon appreciated all of the beautiful hand-made items for Baby Chen. This little boy is going to be well-dressed! 
RedKat and Mommy Sarah

To see more photos of the shower, click HERE

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery