Friday, June 29, 2007


Night-Blooming Summer Cactus - Atwater, CA
Nothing big planned for this weekend, except to work on finishing up paintings for my upcoming show.
Saturday evening, Larry and I might pop by Natalie's Yogathon to cheer her on. Natalie has collected many sponsors for this event to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Shout out to Ms. Nattie for encouraging so many people!
Sunday, I'll be attending my second Anti-Social Knitters group meet-up. Although they profess to be anti-social, they're incredibly affable. This Sunday we're having a potluck and yarn-swap at Wen's house. Goodness knows, I have tons o' yarn to swap! I'm bringing my famous, fattening mac 'n cheese casserole.
I'll leave you with a few photos from last night's WeHo SnB. We were displaced from our usual upstairs location at the Original Farmers Market, so we cozied up in a little nook downstairs. It was fun, as usual. I was most surprised to see some of my ol' rock 'n roll pals show up. Hi Margaret, Carolyn and Johanna!

Most of last night's knitters and crocheters are all part of the West Hollywood SnB Blog Ring. Check out their blogs!!!

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oh Yeah!

The top-down green cardi is coming right along! I'm using size 7 needles (for me, this is a small needle size), and I'm still speeding through this project. Maybe it's the yarn? The TLC Cotton Plus is really smooth and just flies on aluminum needles. Maybe it's because I'm knitting this for Larry and he's skinny!! Less stitches on the needle than I'm used to. LOL!

I should reach the desired length of the cardi by tomorrow. THEN, I have to pick up the stitches around the arms and knit down the sleeves. I still haven't decided what type of edging for the neck and opening I'll do. I'll either crochet a half-double herringbone (see edging below),OR a knitted 2 x 2 rib OR a few rows of garter stitch. I'll have to check with Mr. Larry and see which he prefers. I also want to add a small pocket and buttons. I'm hoping to work on the cardi tonight at the WeHo SnB. See you there!


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Highland Park

For my upcoming art show at Future Studio I'll be showing my Los Angeles landscape paintings. Most of these paintings are of Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZ). The Los Angeles Conservancy's description: "An HPOZ is a City-designated historic district composed of a group of buildings (either an entire neighborhood or part of a neighborhood) which are related to one another historically, architecturally and/or culturally."
LAPD Historical Museum

Historic Highland Park Home
There are many such zones in Los Angeles, including Angelino Heights, West Adams, Mar Vista/Gregory Ain Tract, Melrose Hill, Lafayette Square, Carthay Circle, Miracle Mile North and more. A portion of Highland Park is an HPOZ too. I'm working on a painting of this area now. I actually lived in Highland Park for a short time during the late 1970's, so I'm quite familiar with this part of North East Los Angeles. This is one of the oldest "suburbs" of L.A. It's located north of Downtown, south of Pasadena and straddles the 110 Fwy, also known as the Arroyo Seco Parkway, the oldest freeway in California. It's a hilly area with some really beautiful old homes. The Metro Gold Line goes right through the area, making it a convenient place to live if you work downtown or in Pasadena.
Neighborhood in Highland Park
I drove around the area a few weeks ago, snapping some photos of buildings and signs to collage into my painting. IN addition to some great restaurants, Highland Park is the home of Judson Stained Glass Studios, The Charles Lummis Home, Chicken Boy and Jackson Browne's family! The Browne family compound, The Abbey, is still there. Remember Jackson's song, "Lawless Avenues"? Well, it's all about H.P.
60's Apartment House in Garvanza
Historic Highland Park Home
I hope to see you at my art show opening on Saturday, July 14th, 7-10 pm @ Future Studio, 5558 No. Figueroa St., L.A. There are many other galleries to visit on the same night. You can check out the schedule here.
Home of every known Soda Pop in the World

One of the oldest Camera Shops in L.A.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Top-Down, Again

After reading through the top-down pattern book again this weekend, I decided to start a v-neck cardigan for Larry. I'm modifying one of the patterns to fit him. I'm going for that casual, golf sweater look. I've had some TLC Cotton Plus in my stash for over a year in a beautiful moss green color. I like this yarn because it's 51% cotton and 49% acrylic, so it has some spring. It's rather like t-shirt material when it's knitted up. I'm using size 7 circular needles. It's working up rather quickly.
Another procrastination project!


Monday, June 25, 2007

Weekend Report

Crochet Car takes a shower
OK, so the Century Carwash was good, but not all it was cracked up to be in the Times article. It was kind of like a mini-mart in a big gas station. There were snacks, sodas, air fresheners for the car, car accessories, cigars, shirts, some jewelry, massage chairs, coffee, etc. They had a meager selection of greeting cards and there wasn't any yarn!The waiting area was nice, clean and shaded. There was overhead TV. The actual washing of the car turned out nicely. It only cost $8.99 for a wash, which is pretty good for this town. There were lots of limousines on their way to the nearby airport. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to take my car here again, but if I was in the area, I'd stop by for a wash.
Later on Saturday, Larry and I drove down to Laguna Beach. There was a reception and opening for a Rick Griffin retrospective at the Laguna Art Museum.It was a lovely event. They served dinner to invitees of In 'n Out burgers! Yum! This is a very nice, manageable museum. The show looked great and we saw lots of people we knew from the various worlds that Rick Griffin's art represented: Surfing, psychedelic music of the 60's and the low-brow art scene.
Waiting for Burgers

Murphy the Surfer by Rick Griffin
Surfboard Art by Rick Griffin
As we were walking back to our car after the Museum party, we walked past a few art galleries on the streets of Laguna. We saw Italian pottery and some beautiful paintings. I'd like to come back for a weekend visit after the summer rush.
On Sunday the family convened at my cousin Amie's new condo in Marina del Rey for brunch. My cousin creates jewelry. She's very talented. A splendid time was had by all.
Amie, at work
Larry and Amie's husband, Rob

Aunt Frances and Uncle Mort

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Friday, June 22, 2007


L.A. Times Photo

Oh yeah, I have BIG plans for lots of excitement this weekend. Not. I want to go to this carwash tomorrow. The article in the L.A. Times makes this place sound incredible. They have top-end merchandise, cappucino, bling, wide-screen TV, massages and more while you're waiting for your car to be cleaned. This sounds like the perfect L.A. place to me. I must check it out.
I'll also be working on a few new paintings for my upcoming art opening at Future Studio in Highland Park on July 14th.
I recently purchased this book and have found it to be highly informational and inspirational! You know, the top-down sweater is my current fave to knit and/or crochet. This book breaks down the process in easy-to-understand diagrams and photos with lots of interesting variations on the theme. I have so much yarn hanging around, that I'll probably start yet another project, using this book as motivation.

Sunday we've got breakfast plans with the family. Later in the day, we'll be attending an Art BBQ on the westside. Have a marvelous weekend!

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer Solstice

Peachy Goodness
Today is the longest day of the year...the summer solstice. I know this to be true, because Bennett's Ice Cream at the Original Farmers Market brought out their fresh peach ice cream yesterday. Celebrate the season.

In other "news", I just couldn't help myself. Really. Kim, at last week's WeHo SnB brought some of her leftover yarn to share. I picked up a few skeins of 100% virgin acrylic. I couldn't resist two skeins of Caron variegated in a colorway that I knew my sister-in-law would love. Ginny is a redhead. The rusty color in this blue-ish colorway is going to look great on her! Ginny's birthday is next week. I whipped up another Melted Melville for her. Thanks, Kim!

Ginny's MM

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Favorite Place

Where do you sit when you knit or crochet?
My favorite place is in the curved center section of my sectional sofa, with sunlight streaming through the living room window. The TV and stereo are across the room, making this the perfect veg-out / procrastination project spot in our house. The photo shows a perfectly neat and tidy area. This rarely occurs. The couch is usually piled up with my various WIPs. Typically, there are yarn scraps all over the floor and the coffee table is often overflowing with papers and books, along with knitting needles, crochet hooks, scissors, cups, glasses, the TV Guide, etc.

How does your craft place look?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Today's post is here. We had a delicious dining experience this weekend on the border of Eagle Rock and Glendale.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Eames Office

On Friday afternoon, I had arranged to meet my friend Ana at Yarns Unlimited in Santa Monica. Of course, I didn't NEEEEED any yarn, but I like to browse. The newly re-located Eames Office is about three doors east of Yarns Unlimited. I love one-stop shopping.
I hadn't been inside the new Eames Office yet. The former location was on Main St., SM. This store is much larger and has big windows....more furniture....more exhibits. Ray and Charles Eames were designers. Read more about them and their designs here. I always find inspiration, walking through the store. In addition to furniture, they offer clothing, accessories, pictures, prints, games, stationery, toys, books, etc.
The shop was buzzing on Friday afternoon in anticipation of a new exhibit in celebration of Charles Eames' centennial year. There will be various exhibits of pictures, plans and other memorabilia on view throughout the summer. You can book tours of the Eames House in Pacific Palisades. They have docent tours once a month. It's a must-see if you are interested in mid-20th century modernism.
After ogling the faboo furniture, etc. at the Eames Store, Ana and I walked down the block to Yarns Unlimited. I'm proud to say that I didn't purchase any yarn. Ana showed me how to crochet her latest lacy stitch. Brilliant!

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Friday, June 15, 2007


Historic Zone - "Angelino Hts." Mixed Media by Ellen Bloom

This weekend I'm going to concentrate on painting. I'm having an art opening that I'd love all of you to attend on Saturday, July 14th at Future Studio in Highland Park. This is part of the regular Second Saturday Gallery Night held every month in Highland Park, Eagle Rock and other Arroyo areas.

Larry and I try to go to Gallery Night every month. The galleries offer diverse art...sculpture, drawings, paintings, assemblages, folk art, photographs, etc. Some of our favorite galleries are Mor York Gallery (a must-see), Avenue 50 Studio, Future Studio, Acorn Gallery, the Huron Substation and more. We usually make a night of it and go early to have dinner at one of the great little restaurants in Highland Park.

My show in July at Future Studio is called "To Preserve and Protect: The Historic Zones of Los Angeles." I will be showing my Los Angeles Landscapes, along with some new pieces that I'm working on this weekend. I'll also be selling giclée prints of most of my pieces.

Historic Zone - "Miracle Mile North", Mixed Media by Ellen Bloom
from the collection of Beth Oliver and Larry Armstrong
Highland Park is off the 110 Fwy, south of Pasadena. It's a very historical area, encompassing The Southwest Museum, The Charles Lummis House, Judson Art Studios, the LAPD Historical Museum, the Metro Gold Line, Mr. T's Bowl and the soon-to-be-home of Chicken Boy, the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles!
Mark your calendars! July 14th, 7-10pm, Future Studio, 5558 N Figueroa St, Highland Park, LA. Refreshments.....we're having refreshments!

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Top-Down = True Love

Yes, I'm addicted to the top-down sweater. You can try it on as you knit or crochet to see if it fits. This is a major biggie for me. I'm difficult to fit. I can never calculate my measurements correctly for creating other styles of sweaters. So, if something works well once, I'll dive in and do it again.

After finishing my top-down burgundy cardigan I decided to start another one using some of my faboo stash. I dug out the Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Aran Yarn I purchased at the Black Sheep Knittery sale and paired it with Berroco Ultra Alpaca that I'd won at Stitches West this past February. I didn't think I'd have enough of the Fleece Artist to knit an entire sweater, so I'm alternating with two rows of the olive alpaca.Of course, horizontal stripes are never flattering for me, but the colors I'm using are very similar and really do not contrast. I like how the olive of the alpaca blends nicely with the camel and toasty colors of the Fleece Artist. The bits of dark red in the Fleece add a nice accent color. I'm not sure if I'll crochet the lower body portion of this sweater. Probably not. I want to maximize yarn usage and crocheting takes up about one-third more yarn than knitting does. I will most definitely crochet the button bands and collar though. I'm formulating some designs as I knit along.
KNIT NOTE: Cookie A. will be in town at the beginning of the month! I met Cookie at Stitches West and was immediately drawn to her sock designs. In the past, I've had trouble navigating directions for ankle down versions of socks, so Devil Girl put out the call to join her at Cookie's toe-up class at Unwind in Burbank on July 6th. I am SOOO there! If the Westside is closer for you, check out the class schedule at Compatto Yarn Salon in Santa Monica. Cookie's blog is really interesting too.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fine Art - $19.99

Spanish Revival-Tiki-Brutalism Architecture
While we were in Bakersfield this past weekend, we noticed a sign outside the Double Tree Hotel advertising a fine art sale on Sunday. We decided to stop and take a look. They were advertising fine art from as low as $19.99.
Art Patrons Browsing FINE art paintings

The subject matter of most paintings were landscapes from various locales around the world. Of course, there were also animal paintings, portraits, musicians, sports, etc. Some of the paintings were signed and actually OK. I think that most of the work was painted on a factory assembly line. One person paints the trunk of the tree, another paints the leaves, etc.
Larry, Contemplating a Kitty Painting
Needless to say, we didn't purchase any fine art, but we had fun viewing it.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Finished Item!

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Yes, I do have gazillions of projects started, but I did finish one last night. I had ripped out my crocheted burgundy cardigan, 'cause it was just too bulky for bulky ol' me. I decided to knit a top-down version. It's finished! I like it. It's comfy.
I used Caron Simply Soft Shadows ("Autumn"), size 10 circular needles. Garter stitch for the yoke. Once I reached the correct measurement for the yoke, I switched to my Size G crochet hook and crocheted a shell pattern for the bottom of the cardigan. For the sleeves, I crocheted a grid/filet pattern. I bordered the sleeves with the same shell pattern as the body of the sweater. I couldn't decide on a collar. Then, as I was knitting yet another Melville scarf, I decided to just modify the scarf idea for a sweater closure. I picked up the stitches at the neck edge, then added on 65 stitches at either end and garter stitched a scarf/collar. I also edged the "scarf" with a crocheted shell motif. I steamed the sweater a bit and now I can actually wear something (other than a scarf) that I made. Amazing!

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Filet Crochet Sleeve
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Versatile Scarf/Collar
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Crocheted Shell Design

I really do like combining knitting with crochet. I have found that certain garments do fit better when they are knit. I do like the thickness of crochet for the body of a sweater though.
I'm so jazzed by this sweater that I immediately started another one with some of my newly acquired stash from Black Sheep Knittery. More, later.


Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery