Friday, March 30, 2007

WIPs @ WeHo SnB

This one's for you, Phyllis! Phyllis is an exceptional knitter, designer who used to live in Los Angeles and attend our West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch meetings on Thursdays at the Original Farmers Market. Phyllis has relocated to Rochester, New York and has happily found her group of knitters there. We miss Phyllis, her knitting expertise, fabulous projects and good humor. A few weeks ago, Phyllis e-mailed me that she missed us and wanted to see what we were all knitting and crocheting. We didn't have a full house last night, but here are a few of our members and their creations:
Regina's Meat Bowling Bag

Abby's Rabbit

Catherine's Toddler Dress

Fuzzy Cory's Shiny Blue Creation

Ellen's Top-Down Purple Sweater

Susan's Misty Alpaca Shawl

Faith's Baby Hat

Laurie Ann's Baby Sweater

Lori's Embroidery

Natalie's Vest

Sara's Pumpkin Quilt

We have a great group of stitchers on Thursdays. If you're in Los Angeles, please join us anytime!


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rae's Diner

Today's post is here. Yes, it can be artery clogging, but it can also be nutritional food at Rae's Diner in Santa Monica.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Creative Crochet

My friend, Jan recently moved to Austin, Texas. We LOVE Austin! It's a great town, full of music, art and great people. Jan found this article in the Austin Chronicle and thought of me...wonder why? I just had to share this with you, you and especially, YOU, Regina!!!

Arts Review

"Elaine Bradford: Freaks of Nurture" Women & Their Work, through March 31

Elaine Bradford melds two extreme forms of domestic kitsch – taxidermy and needlework – to create hybrid objects with open-ended significance. The Houston-based artist's embellished deer heads were featured at Okay Mountain last summer in "Outside In," a two-person show with photographer William Hundley. At Okay Mountain, Bradford connected the antlers of crochet-covered deer heads with looping strands of striped stitching, making a playful network of red- and aqua-colored yarn that snaked across the ceiling's metalwork from one mount to another. With "Freaks of Nurture" at Women & Their Work, Bradford further exploits the shock effect engendered by the convergence of polar opposites: masculine and feminine, violence and nurture, artificial and natural, freakish and conventional.

Stepping into the gallery is like walking into a really weird basement, minus the faux-wood paneling. At one end of the room, a crochet-covered antelope head lolls on the floor, connected to its mount by a thick umbilical cord of baby blue, light yellow, and dark-brown yarn. Two masked deer heads attached to a double mount hang on the opposite wall, a conspicuous row of buttons closing up the gap between their two faces.

Bradford bluntly reinforces the distinct feeling that you've entered a mutant world – she even titled one work Crossbreeding a Doe With Your Grandmother's Afghan. In this piece, a crochet-covered, taxidermied doe head mounted on one wall is linked to a huge striped circle of crocheted yarn that nearly covers a wall nearby. Crocheted ropes that pull the circular piece slightly off the wall, producing a cone, attach these two elements. As a formal experiment, it's beautiful work. Factor in the doe's head and the title, though, and it's not quite clear if this is the manifestation of a farmhouse daydream or a nightmarish parallel universe.
ADDENDUM: Thanks to Mary Jo, check out this site to see Artists' other works.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mosaic L.A.

Sunday the L.A. Conservancy and the J. Paul Getty Museum held their self-guided tour, Mosaic L.A. It was FABULOUS! All of our various mosaic events in the past month led up to this day. The brochure for the tour is outstanding. Of course, Mr. Larry took exquisite photos and Amy Inouye of Future Studio designed a beautiful brochure. It's definitely worthwhile to order this brochure from the Conservancy so you can conduct your own tour of these magnificent mosaics in our beautiful City.

Millard Sheets, Home Savings & Loan, Hollywood

Sunset and Vine

Close-up of Bette Davis
We started our tour at the former site of the Home Savings and Loan (now Washington Mutual) on Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. This mosaic depicts legendary movie stars and is a nod to the site's history as the location of the filming of Hollywood's first full-length motion picture, "The Squaw Man." When you are inside the bank, looking toward the parking lot, a magnificent stained glass window is visible too.
Stained Glass Inside Hollywood HS&L

Joseph Young, Parker Center, Downtown L.A.

Our next stop was Parker Center (designed by renowned L.A. architect, Welton Becket). The LAPD is building a new headquarters and will soon be vacating this building. Hopefully, they will take this magnificent mural with them. It's a mid-century modern depiction of the L.A. skyline. It is somewhat obstructed by security gates, but this was my favorite piece of the entire tour. I'm just crazy for L.A. landmarks and that graphic/modern style of Joseph Young.
Mosaic Abstraction of Chinese Theater, Red Car, etc.

We met up with Mary Jo and David at this stop and spent a majority of the tour with them. Check out Mary Jo's site for more photos! David is a costumer who works in tile on the side. He was most informative about what we were viewing.

Simon Rodia, Watts Towers, L.A.
We hit the Harbor Fwy. from Parker Center and traveled south to Watts. Simon Rodia's Watts Towers is just east of the Metro Line, off Century Blvd. When you approach the Towers and the park surrounding it, it just looks like a gray steel conglomeration of spires. When you walk closer, you can see all of the mosaic decoration that Rodia used, including broken tableware, figurines, glazed tiles, bottles of 7-Up and Milk of Magnesia, mirrors, seashells, rocks, telehpne insulators, etc. It's an inspiring piece. The shape has a boat-like quality to it. This masterpiece is respected in the neighborhood. They hold tours on the weekend. It's definitely worthwhile to visit.
There is this boat-like quality to the interior
Larry, Mary Jo, Ellen & David @ The Towers

We were starving after seeing the Towers, so we hopped back on the Harbor Fwy. north and went to lunch near our next stop, St. John's Episcopal Church.
Mercado Paloma
We had lunch at Mercado Paloma on Grand Ave. near Jefferson. It's actually a delightful food court and small shopping plaza. We all ordered lunch from the Chichen Itza stand....quite yummy, as you can see.

Romanesque Bell Tower @ St. John's
Interior Archway & Tile Work

The exterior of St. John's was never finished. It is made of simple cast concrete. Architecturally, it is in the Romanesque-style. When you walk inside, you can see the mosaic. There is one area near the front of the church that is primarily gold, glittering tiles. The ceiling is really gorgeous too. I want to return to this site to examine it further. My photos are really inferior compared to the grandness and intricacies of the tile work here.

We left David and Mary Jo at this point...they continued on to Hollywood. Larry and I went to our last stop (which will probably be our last stop in life), Forest Lawn.

Birth of Liberty, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills

The Birth of Liberty Mosaic

This is the largest historical mosaic in the country. It's 162 feet long. It portrays scenes of important moments in American history. There are many other startling mosaics at the Park. I was most impressed with the impressionist quality of the water under George Washington's many gorgeous colors to show the icy waves!
Detail of the icy Potomac

This was the end of our tour. HOWEVER, Larry and I were so intrigued with the Millard Sheets mosaic in Hollywood, that on the way back we went to my home-town, Beverly Hills to view two more Millard Sheets Mosaic Murals. One is at the corner of Rexford and Wilshire and the other one is two blocks east at Wilshire and Oakhurst. I even stopped by the former H.S. & L. here in Santa Monica today just to view that gorgeous mosaic. I must say, Millard Sheets was a genious.
Millard Sheets Mosaic - Rexford & Wilshire, Beverly Hills

Detail, Millard Sheets, Oakhurst & Wilshire, Beverly Hills

Millard Sheets Mosaic - 26th & Wilshire, Santa MonicaSanta Monica Mosaic - Detail
I'm on a quest now to view and photograph as many Millard Sheets Mosaic Murals as I can find around the Southland!
There is so much beautiful public art in Los Angeles. Please go see it!!!!

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Ice Melts....Slowly

Piano in Ice

On Saturday Brit told us about this art performance downtown. After stopping at a few other openings, we headed down to the Arts District to see Parris Patton and friends melt and break the ice encasing an upright piano. This performance was preceded by a major study on how to do this. We received a program with copious notes subtitled "Notes on how to freeze a piano inside a huge block of ice."
Artist, Parris Patton

When we arrived at around 8:30 pm, there was a crowd surrounding the ice piano. There were propane tanks with fired up hoses pointing toward the ice and melting it so that people with axes, picks, hammers, etc. could break away the ice more easily. Beethoven piano concertos were playing over the loud speakers, there was food, drink and bright lights. It was an unusually fun setting.
Ice Fans

Larry and I met up with Brit, Hank, Amy, Stuart, T.K. and various other artsy cheerleaders watching this event. I ran into Joel Bloom (no relation) from Bloom's General Store. It's always nice to chat with another Bloom about Bloom-related things.
Joel Bloom of Bloom's General Store

The event had to end at 10pm, due to L.A. City permit limitations. By 10:15 pm, the piano was becoming evident under the ice. Many people picked up weapons and pummeled the ice...even Mr. Larry! The crowd dispersed soon thereafter, and the huge block of ice was still there.
Larry Chooses his Weapon

our hosts for the evening, Brit and Hank

10:15 pm - The Piano is Visible

Addendum: Amy and Stuart dropped by on Sunday morning...the ice was still there. More of the piano was visible, but not entirely. Stay tuned for further developments.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Kwazy for Koigu

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Well, the Knit From Your Stash vow that I took in January lasted about 2 months. I just couldn't control myself! Black Sheep Knittery (6324 Yucca St., Hollywood) is having a 50% off EVERYTHING sale! The sale goes thru the end of March.
I had breakfast with Audrey this morning at Jinky's on Sunset near La Cienega. I wanted to hear all about her recent trip to Egypt. Thanks Aud and Jeff for bringing us back souveniers! After leaving Jinky's, my car mysteriously headed east on Sunset Blvd. Once I got to Ivar, the car turned left and then right on Yucca. There just happened to be a parking spot right in front of the store! Parking Karma.
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I was inside the store for about 10 minutes when my cellphone rang. It was Mary Jo saying that she had dropped her cat at the vet in Hollywood and was headed over to Black Sheep...did I want to meet her there? I think Mary Jo has some sort of homing device planted on me. She must have known that I was already there!!!!

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Mary Jo Reaches for HEAVEN
I could not believe that EVERYTHING was on sale....yarn, books, magazines, tote bags, needles, hooks. I did try to restrain myself. I bought a few skeins of gorgeous Koigu (pictured), one skein of Manos del Uruguay in a colorway that I already have (I needed the extra skein to finish a project). Then, I bought this huge ball of boucle' yarn...larger than my head, called Super Cozy by Feza. It's acrylic, made in Turkey and is extremely colorful. I was rather restrained in my yarn purchases. I won't even tell you how much Mary Jo bought!
Another public service announcement: Yarnaholics! Get Over to Black Sheep Knittery in Hollywood....this is a fantastic sale!

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Black Sheep Knittery
6324 Yucca St.


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