Thursday, August 30, 2007

Antique Shops in the Desert

We drove toward the beautiful California desert today and stopped in Banning and Beaumont to check out their Antique Row. Lots and lots of shops. We're on our way to visit our friends in La Quinta for a few days. Yes, it's really hot least 107 degrees. We've been staying in the air-conditioned car, the air-conditioned house or in the pool.
We stopped at Georgia's Quilt Shop...very interesting. Here are a few of the treasures we saw at the antique shops today:

Tomorrow, we'll hit the Palm Springs Museum and then maybe cool off in a sub-zero degree movie theater! Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mini-Road Trip

Larry and I are off on a mini-road trip. We're out Thursday, Friday, returning on Saturday. So, I won't be at the WeHo SnB Thursday night. Have a great time! E-talk soon!


Low-Brow Inspiration

In previous posts, I've talked about Mr. Larry's involvement in the low-brow art movement as a photographer. Many of the movement's current artists have hired Larry to photograph their work. Larry's photographic transparencies are later used for the print media or to reproduce giclees (fine art prints of paintings).
One of our favorite artists, Joe Vaux, dropped off a few paintings for Larry to photograph the other day. I love being able to see these works before the general public gets to see them. Joe's artwork is wild. He makes up all of these crazy characters. By day, Joe works for a network animated show creating storyboards. By night, he paints these incredible, other-worldly pieces.
After seeing Joe's latest work, I was inspired to crochet a little monster for him. Meet Googie, my crazy, wild little creature, inspired by Vaux's work!

Googie is another procrastination project! It took me about 3 hours to complete him. From ear-tip to toe, Googie is eight inches tall. His body is about three inches wide. He was fun to create from scrap acrylic yarn as a summer night distraction.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mosaic Master

Eden Memorial Park
Mosaic Archway, designed by Joseph Young
Over the weekend, I learned that artist, Joseph Young passed away at the age of 87. I'd met Mr. Young a couple of times at LA Conservancy events. He was the artist reponsible for many beautiful public murals and mosaics across Los Angeles County.

Photographer, Larry Underhill, attended Mr. Young's funeral at Eden Memorial Park in the San Fernando Valley yesterday and took some photos of the mosaic arch that Mr. Young designed for the Jewish Mausoleum.

Recently, we visited Young's "Los Angeles Skyline" mosaic mural (1955) at Parker Center. To quote the LA Conservancy "Mosaic L.A." pamphlet, "Thirty-six feet long by six feet tall, when it debuted, it was the world's largest glass mosaic mural executed by an American artist. Created using over 250,000 Venetian glass tesserae, the mural hangs in space, floating over the floor, cantilevered from two building support columns. It took Young over two years to complete, and was the first of his several public art pieces in downtown."

Another one of Mr. Young's creations was the Triforium (1975), across from the L.A. City Hall. It recently became operational again after years of neglect.

Mr. Young decorated many churches, synagogues and other public spaces in this country, including his last commission in 1992, The Los Angeles Holocaust Monument, located in Pan Pacific Park, Miracle Mile area of L.A.. You can read about his life here.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Yummmm...Cakes 'n Croissants

We had a quiet weekend. I did a lot of yarn winding. Behold the yarn cakes:


Birthday Yarn

Kaalund/"Relish" - Malabrigo/"Ladrillo" - Malabrigo/Kettle-Dyed

Lisa Souza/"Mahagony", Superfine Merino

In between the Yarn Cakes, I met a neighbor for tea and croissants at Maison du Pain, our neighborhood bakery.

Hmmmm...cakes and croissants. It was a perfect weekend!

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Friday, August 24, 2007

70's Redux

70's Ellen
The clothing styles of the 1970's have been back for awhile. Last night's WeHo SnB was fun, but no one's clothes were outrageous disco duds. I just wore the same clothes I used to wear in high school and college....jeans, work shirt, beads, sandals with the appropriate hair and make-up. I didn't wear glasses in the 70's, so I was missing the gold-wire spectacles. I was one of the few SnBr's present who was actually an adult in the 70's. The rest of the group were toddlers or not even born yet! They wore their glamorized versions of 70's-wear, or what they remember their Moms or Florence Henderson (Brady Bunch) wearing. Everyone looked lovely. I missed seeing some outrageous Sly and the Family Stone-wear; Elton John goofy eyewear and hats & glitter, truly whacked out hippie child clothes or cool caftans or dashikis on anyone. We did have a fun time in wishing Gwen the best in her new life at law school in Philadelphia. Thanks to Natalie and Carla for providing yummy refreshments!
Our Hostess with the Mostess, Ms. Natalie
Catherine and Erin
Kendra, working on a dance costume
Abby - Va-Va-Voom!

Catherine - Mahalo

Gwen, our guest of honor

Have a marvelous weekend everyone!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Brave Combo

We have lots of Brave Combo's CDs
One of my all-time favorite bands is Brave Combo. I've been following them for over 15 years. They're from Denton, Texas. Their website describes the band as a "groundbreaking world music act, a hot jazz quintet, a rollicking rock'n'roll bar band, a Tex-Mex conjunto, a sizzling blues band, a saucy cocktail combo, a deadly serious novelty act, a Latin orchestra, and one of America's dance bands par excellence."

They only travel to California once a year, usually because of the Cotati Accordion Festival in Northern California. They try to book a few gigs up and down the Coast in order to make the trip worthwhile and to appease all of their California fans. We saw them last year at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. This was a good show, but the McCabe's concert venue does not allow for dancing. You just have to get up and move when you hear this band.
Brave Combo at Safari Sam's
Last night we drove to East Hollywood, Safari Sam's on Sunset near Normandie to hear Brave Combo. Sidenote: Safari Sam's, a former strip club, is located across the huge parking lot from one of the largest 99-Cent Only Stores in the City. One-stop shopping at it's finest!They were great!!! We had a good time. I'm exhausted today!!!
Bandleader, Carl Finch

Bandmember, Jeffrey Barnes
HOWEVER, I'm not too exhausted to attend the WeHo SnB Back to the 70's party at the Original Farmers Market tonight, 7-9! See you there, all you groovy knitsters!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Creative Crochet

I was cruisin' the blogs the other day and found this site. I was taken with the "Simple Times" Afghan, from the "Rose Cottage Afghans" pamphlet, Leisure Arts that SnapDragons crocheted. I think that this pattern mimics the look of a knitted cable, but it's not as bulky as a crocheted cable and it's not even a cable, it's a series of single, half-double and double crochet stitches! Amazing!
Leisure Arts Book # 3249
SnapDragons' Inspirational Afghan & Quilt
I immediately ordered the book and swatched a piece of this pattern, using Red Heart Soft Yarn in lime green and a size "H" hook. I'm thinking this would make a fabulous pattern for a cardigan!

Note to all L.A. SnBr's: Don't forget! This Thursday, August 23rd

(Imagine the strains of "Dancing Queen" or “Stayin’ Alive” playing in the back of your mind)

Philadelphia Freedom '76

The theme is 1970's at The Original Farmer's Market @ 3rd & Fairfax, (above Kip's Toyland)
Thursday August 23, 2007, 7 pm - 9 pm

Dress up in 70's style & get out of the heat because we are having a party!

This is a celebration of summer, the 70's and our
send-off for Gwen (at left) to Philly in style.
Gwen is entering law school in Philadelphia where she will finally be able to really use all of the woolen scarves she's been knitting for the past few years! Party organizer, Miss Natalie is truly our Mistress of Knitastic Events!


Monday, August 20, 2007

Krall @ The Bowl

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
We had a marvelous time on Friday at the Hollywood Bowl. Audrey and Jeff invited us to share their box to see the LA Philharmonic Orchestra, The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and Diana Krall. Luckily, Audrey had a platinum valet parking pass, so we zoomed right up to the artist's exit and found our seats quickly. What a pleasure! Parking at the Bowl can be a pain. We usually take the Park & Ride Bowl Bus, but this was waaaaaay better!
Super Martini Man
I made salads for dinner, stacked in individual plastic containers for each person: Green salad with sesame dressing and vegies; mixed fruit salad; cold soba noodles with diced chicken, vegies and a ginger dressing. Audrey brought beverages and the most divine dessert from Susina Bakery: Mini-cookies and little individual tarts. Jeff brought his faboo martini concoction!
Audrey & Jeff

Divine Mini-Cookies from Susina Bakery
The night was balmy, Diana Krall sounded great, as did her accompaniment. We saw a few movie stars on the way out, making their way backstage to congratulate Krall: Diahann Carroll; Dustin Hoffman, Sacha Baron-Cohen. These people weren't together, but they descended on the stage door at the same time. I sometimes wonder if all movies stars in Hollywood know each other? I suppose not. It's like when people ask me, "Oh, you live in Los Angeles! Do you know so & so?" Yeah, right. It's a big town.
Thanks, Audrey and Jeff for inviting us! We had a great time!

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fiber Fest 2007

After doing a few errands this morning, I made my way over to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for Fabulous Fiber Fest 2007. I arrived at 12:30 and there was plenty of street parking (parking meters...less expensive that the SM Civic Parking Lot).
If you're only interested in yarn, knitting and crocheting, this festival is NOT for you. However, if you'd like a taste of quilting, spinning, weaving, lace-making along with booths full of accessories (buttons, beads, trim, etc.), then you've come to the right place.
I managed to find the few yarn sellers and purchased a few skeins.....some 100% superfine merino fingering wool in a gorgeous colorway of browns, 1,750 yards for only $29, from Lisa Souza Knitwear and Dyeworks. I also purchased some lovely Malabrigo wool, kettle dyed in a cinnabar color from Blue Moon Spinning of San Francisco, 215 yards @ $10 per skein! The Malabrigo will blend nicely with some of the yarn I received for my birthday. I figure, as long as you stick with oranges, you can't go wrong!
Anyway, I saw the organizer of the event, Mariko and free-form expert and fellow SnBr, Kim of Playa del Rey. Myra Woods was there teaching a class. There were all sorts of demonstrations going on....weaving, spinning, quilting, beadwork, etc. This is a small festival, but chock full of good stuff.
Highlight of the day: Llamas and angora bunnies just outside the entrance!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Summer Schedule

Hollywood Bowl, 1958, Los Angeles Examiner
There are so many things to do in Los Angeles in the summer. Of course, half of the population of the entire United States is visiting L.A. right now. Argh. Traffic is worse than usual. Every public space is crammed with tourists. I don't want to be negative. I understand that my fair City is a popular tourist destination. If you really want to see L.A. at it's best, come back in the fall or the spring. It's not so hot, the crowds are bearable and you can get into local attractions without standing in long lines.

Case in point: I was at my weekly WeHo SnB meeting last night at the Original Farmers Market. The F. Mkt. is a major tourist attraction. I could not park in any of the surrounding parking lots. I had to park far away in a forbidden and hidden place. Once I hiked over to the F. Mkt., most of the food stalls were really busy. Eventually, I managed to get dinner and meet with my fellow crafters, but it was a challenge.

We've been invited to another L.A. attraction this evening....The Hollywood Bowl. Jeff and Audrey have invited us to see Diana Krall. I have many of her albums, so I'm excited to see her in person! J & A have box seats AND a platinum parking pass! Woo Hoo. We haven't been to the Bowl in over ten years because of the crowds and bad parking. With fancy seats, parking and excellent music, tonight should be fun! I'm bringing the picnic later.

There are tons of events in L.A. this weekend. The Fabulous Fiber Fest starts today at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. I may pop over mid-day Saturday or Sunday. My cousin, Amie (jewelry creator extraordinaire), is participating in the Kenneth Village Arts and Crafts Festival in Glendale on Saturday from 3-9pm. The Barnsdale Art Market is an ongoing art festival, starting this Sunday at Barnsdale Park in East Hollywood, organized by my friend Julie. Of course, the Sunset Junction Street Festival is also scheduled for this weekend. They offer, food booths, crafts, lots of independent music, rides for the kids and the entire community parading up and down the street. We also have a b-day party in Atwater on Saturday night that I know will be fun-filled.

Maybe I'll see you at one of these fun events this weekend!!!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Flyin' Out the Door

"Flores del Fuego"
All of a sudden my artwork is in style! A friend and co-worker's of my friend, Christine, just bought two of my paintings! Woo Hoo! Marilyn works in the office complex across the street from me. Thank you, Marilyn for becoming a Patroness of the Arts!
"Oool Ya Kool"
"Flora Exotica"
I brought three similar paintings for Marilyn to view. She chose two. The other painting was sitting near my desk and one of the guys in accounting just bought it! Double Woo Hoo!

Marilyn, Knitting at Burbank Garage Sale
This has been a good summer for selling my artwork. At my recent show at Future Studio I sold eight paintings. I really don't want to toot my own horn, but this is my blog and the blog is all about ME. It's the "MiMi Show."

I suppose I should put the knitting and crocheting on hold and get out to the studio and paint some more!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Teaching the Art

My good friend, Joan W. re-learned how to crochet last year. She was a quick study because we think she must have learned as a child. Joan made a beautiful scarf out of rust-colored chenille.

This summer Joan was capitvated by a chunky-knit sweater in "W" Magazine. A few of my fellow knitsters and I explained to Joan the difference between knitted and crocheted garments. Knitted garments can drape better. Crocheted garments, depending on your hook and yarn size, tend to be thicker and stiffer. Crocheting uses up one-third MORE yarn than knitting does. The sweater that Joan saw in "W" was definitely knitted. Joan needed to learn how to knit.

She attended our WeHo SnB a few weeks ago for her first knitting lesson. Joan started with a cotton washcloth, garter stitch pattern. I cast on for her and knit the first row so she could watch. After a few attempts, Joan was knitting slowly. By the end of the evening she had knit almost an inch on her washcloth.

Within the next week she had started a second cloth, all by herself! Joan's next project will be wrist-warmers. After that, I think she'll be ready to knit that chunky sweater!

I really like teaching people who want to learn. Joan was determined to learn to knit and she succeeded! Congratulations Joan!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fun in KoreaTown

Sizzlin' Korean BBQ
On Saturday night we went with our good friends Beth and Larry A. to a marvelous Korean BBQ Restaurant called ChoSun Galbee. Larry had been there before and guided us thru the menu. We had a faboo time! Read more about our adventure here.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Totebags 'R Us

Crocheted Granny Tote - 2004
I am a firm believer in the necessity of owning multiple totebags. From a GREEN standpoint, it's always good to have a totebag handy in your car if you happen to stop by the market or any other store. We want to refrain from using non-biodegradable plastic bags. Totebags not only hold groceries, they can hold my most prized possession.....yarn! They can be used as mini-storage units for your stash until you have time to file the yarn into proper bins. We like to carry books, records (oops, I mean CDs), lunch, magazines, etc. I like to knit and crochet my own totes. Some of my totes in regular rotation are:
Grocery Tote, often used for yarn!
Favorite Multi-Use Tote
Crocheted with Thrift-Shop Granny Squares

Oilcloth Tote with Multiple Pockets

I was fortunate to receive many totes for my recent b-day. I LOVE all of my totes. I can always use MORE totes. Check out a few:

Tiki-Tote, embroidered by Mary Jo

Batik Tote from Crazy Aunt Purl

L.A. Map Tote, from Audrey & Jeff

Oilcloth Tote from Madge, Marie, Mary, Jillian, Annette

Envirosax from Beth

there are 5 different foldable, washable totes in each pouch!

Original Design Tote Sewn by Carla

Carla's Tote is REVERSIBLE!!!

Hand-Embroidered by the oh, so talented Carla!


Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery