Monday, June 30, 2008

Freeway Fun

View from the Balcony, Pacific Beach Cliffs
On Saturday we drove down to San Diego for a family memorial. It was a sad occasion, but it's always good to see everyone, no matter what the circumstances. My cousin, Sasha hosted the event. He lives in a condo right on the cliffs of Ocean Beach in San Diego. In the winter, the ocean waves sometime come all the way up to his balcony. Saturday was a beautiful day. It's quite energizing and fulfilling to just stand on the cliffs and look out at the Pacific Ocean. I understand why he loves living there.

Ellen and Uncle Hi

We left San Diego at about 4:30 and made it back o L.A. in a record 2 hours. We fluffed up and then got right back in the car and drove from Mid-City L.A. over to Atwater for a b-day party. The party was fun....lots of artists and musicians, and we stayed late, even though we were really beat from all that driving earlier in the day.

Sunday, we met the folks at one of our favorite coffee shops for breakfast: Pepy's at the Mar Vista Bowling Alley. Even though I didn't have anything stronger to drink the day before than a club soda, I felt like I had a hangover. All that traveling and running around in the heat got to me. So, I ordered a nice big bowl of menudo with all the fixin's. My Mother was horrified. She has led a sheltered life. She'd never seen anyone eat tripe soup with onion, cilantro and a side of tortillas before. The waiter wanted to know if I wanted a pigfoot in the menudo. Just for the shock value, I said "Sure!" Everyone knows that a bowl of menudo is what one has the day after partying. Even at my advanced age, I'm still a rebellious kid!

mmmmmmmMenudo @ Pepy's

After breakfast, Larry and I made a few stops on the sale and art show, then came home to rest for a few hours. By early evening we were out the door again! This time, on our way to Hollywood to the American Cinematheque to see a double feature. The first documentary, "Love Story" (no not that tear-jerker with Ali MacGraw). This was the story of Arthur Lee and his band, of the best L.A. bands in the late 60's and early 70's. The group was legendary. They were also one of the first inter-racial rock groups to score big hits. You might recognize one of their famous covers, "My Little Red Book."

The other film documentary was called "This is Gary McFarland" about a brilliant jazz arranger and vibraphonist who died young at the top of his game when he was only 38. McFarland was one of the first arrangers to fuse jazz with pop. He's flown under my radar, so I was glad to know about him. Must go out and find some of his albums! Both movies were wonderful and so engrossing, that we forgot how tired we were. When we finally got home at midnight, we collapsed.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, June 27, 2008


I just love this yarn. I have tons of it. I don't know what to do with it!
Sometimes, I like to just go into our studio, open up all of my bins o' yarn, take out forgotten tote bags full of old unfinished projects, pull down the rest of the shopping bags full of yarn and gaze at them for INSPIRATION. Yes, I know I have enough yarn to last me for the rest of my life and for the lives of all my knitster friends. I love my yarn and I'm not finished with it yet.
Needless to say, I won't be attending any of the end of summer yarn sales happening around L.A. this weekend. We do have lots of events planned though. Hope your's is great!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Accessories

Seen at Future Studio aka The Chicken Boy Store in Highland Park, CA
For the uninitiated, Pan Dulce is Mexican sweet bread. It can be kinda' crunchy and flakey with a sugar coating on top. I like it, because the bread portion is not really sweet, just the topping is sugary. It reminds me of the kichel pastry that you can get at Jewish bakeries. Same recipe...different shape.

Anyway, it may be necessary to purchase a fuzzy pair of Pan Dulces for my car!!! I wonder if I could fit some crochet hooks in the Pan Dulce coin purse?

Chicken Boy Store @ Future Studio; Open on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 6-10pm during the NELA Art Crawl; 5558 North Figueroa Street in Beautiful Downtown Highland Park, California 90042

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

February Lady Sweater

Gull Lace Pattern on February Lady Sweater
Yes, I'm obsessed. Over 600 people are knitting this pattern on Ravelry. It's a hit. How did I know that once people got ahold of a good top-down sweater pattern, they'd go bonkers? Because top-down sweaters are easy to knit and always fit.
I'm at the lace portion of my black/brown tweed cardigan. I usually CROCHET lace, not KNIT, so this is new-ish for me. It's an easy gull-lace pattern, only 4 pattern rows that repeat. Really, I only have to remember 2 rows, because the wrong side is always a purl row. I can remember the most complicated crochet patterns, but an easy 2 row knit pattern has me constantly looking at my crib sheet that I pinned to the cardi. Eventually, I'm sure I'll have the pattern memorized (I hope).
Over the weekend, I saw Lauren's FLS that she's working on for her future MIL. She's using one of my favorite colorways...very pinky and taupe and very varigated. I knit a "Melville" scarf in this colorway (below). There's something about straight garter stitch in varigated yarn that just sends me. I love the look!
This is the yarn that Lauren is using for her FLS
I'm so crazy. I happened to have a ton of this "Lipstick" color yarn in my stash, so I started yet ANOTHER FLS using this yarn. It's a contest to see who finishes first: Brown/Black Tweed vs. Lipstick! The race is on.

"Lipstick" February Lady Sweater


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

GREAT Party!

On Saturday night, we attended the most faboo party! It was Chris Nichols' annual b-day bash. Chris works at L.A. Magazine, is active with the Modern Committee of the L.A. Conservancy and is an author and man about town. We've known each other for-evah!!!! I met Chris probably 20 years ago when he was a mere student and working part-time for Amy at Future Studio. He's come quite a long way since then.
The party was in a private pullman car at Union Station. Chris and Charlene thought of everything! There were vintage autos near the train; a trumpet player between the tracks; dipped beef sandwiches and salads catered by Philippe's Restaurant; full bar; working barber in the train's barbershop; air-conditioning inside and most guests were dressed per the 1949 invitation.
We received this somewhat cryptic invitation a few weeks ago. Mike at Franklin Avenue describes it quite well here. Pat at Eating LA was also there and wrote a fine review of the event. Who knows what other bloggers I missed among the crowds?!?
It truly was a wonderful event and highly bloggable. Thanks to Chris and Charlene for including us. Happy Birthday, Chris!


Monday, June 23, 2008

David Amico

On Friday, Larry and I attended the reception of artist, David Amico's latest work. The opening was at the Ace Gallery in Beverly Hills, entitled "Drift-Trace Paintings." It was a stellar event, attended by loads of movers and shakers. The gallery is located in a former bank building on Wilshire Blvd. in the center of Beverly Hills. All of the bank offices and cubicles have been removed. The space consists of 3 large rooms.
I've known David since we were teenagers and art students at Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. I'm very proud of David's choices and advances he has made in his career.
Below are some snapshots of the event:

David Amico, Idyllwild 1970 David and Ellen, Idyllwild 1972
Ellen and David, Idyllwild 1987We were and are JUST FRIENDS. Really!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cool Gifts

Recently, our neighbors, Rosina and Nic, returned from a vacation in South Africa. They lived there for awhile, so it's always fun for them to visit. I didn't expect any gifties from them. We didn't even have to feed the cat or water the lawn while they were gone because their son, Michael was home!

It seems that Nic and Rosina were in an outdoor marketplace and kept running across PERFECT gifts for ME!!!!

Crochet Spiral Earrings

Very Cool Rasta Record Handbag (w/crochet!)

Tea Towel with Historic South African Warrior Embroidery

Rosina and I exchange tea towels at holiday time and whenever one of us comes back from vacation. I have quite a collection now. I'm thinking of possibly knitting a version for Rosina's next gift!

Another busy weekend coming up filled with art shows, knitting and crocheting, birthday parties and more, while trying to stay cool in this triple-digit heat spell we're having in Los Angeles! Have a great one.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

From Dreary to Groovy

T.K. and Jack, above
Joan and Brooke, below
Last night we were sitting around the Original Farmers Market with our usual Wednesday night group, Larry, Amy, Stuart, Robbie, Joan, T.K., Jack and Brooke. It was hot, crowded, we were all kinda' cranky and running out of conversation, as you can see by the photos, above. Suddenly, Larry stood up and ran out the exit. He came back soon and said he'd forgotten that there was an art opening just across the walkway at the Jack Gallery!

The exhibit is called "The Art That Defined A Generation: The Family Dog 1966 - 1970." You can read about the exhibit here. The place was buzzing with photographers and aging artists (like us), including two of the original Family Dog group, Stanley Mouse and Victor Moscoso. The other artist from this group expected to attend was Alton Kelley. Sadly, he passed away a few weeks ago. Our friend, photographer Bob Seidemann was there. He photographed many of the artists during their hey-day, as well as record album covers of the day. Needless to say, it was another stellar L.A. happening that we just stumbled upon, proving that if you hang out constantly at the Farmers Market, events will find you.

Many of the pieces in the Jack Gallery were reproductions of posters from the late 1960's, early 1970's, San Francisco, featuring bands like The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and more from the psychedelic era.

The gallery is quite large. We walked around a bit to see some of the other artwork. Most of it was rock 'n roll themed. Next time you're at the Market or The Grove, do check it out.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's One of Those Days

Nothing in my brain to write about on the blog, but I have this compulsion to write SOMETHING. I was tagged awhile back by Mary-Heather with this meme:
The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?: I'd just started my job at HBO, where I still work...happily. My life has been much the same for the last 10 years. Still married, living in Mid-City LA, still knitting, crocheting, painting, etc.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today? Send out some birthday cards; look up pattern for kippah with 6-sided star in center; call Mom; call Larry; put gas in car.

3) Snacks I enjoy: Cashews; chocolate; cheese and crackers; thick potato chips; fresh blueberries; matzah with butter.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Pay off our debts; buy a vacation home in the high desert; help my brother; donate money to the L.A. Conservancy and to Stitches From The Heart.

5) Places I have lived: I'm a Los Angeles person through and through and have lived here all my life, with brief residencies in Idyllwild and San Diego.

6) Jobs I have had: Secretary; booking agent for blues groups; radio d.j.; crochet teacher; camp counselor.

7) Friends I want to know more about: My Krewe: Natalie, Carla, Mary Jo, Lori, Darcy and Brit.

I'm not going to actually tag the above people listed. I wouldn't want to force this on anyone! HOWEVER, if ANYONE is interested in answering, just leave me a comment. I've always been curious about YOU!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

3 Times a Lady

Cascade 220 Cotto

Yes, I've caught the Rav-Bug. 225 people on Ravelry are knitting the February Lady Sweater. This is an adult-sized version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's February Baby Sweater. I've made at least 2 other top-down sweaters, very similar to this design, hence the title of this post!

I worked on the yoke portion of this sweater during the weekend for World Wide Knit in Public Day. This is a perfect project for knitting with others, because the yoke section is mindless garter stitch with increases for the raglan sleeves every other row. I'm using Cascade 220 Cotto, #9412, which is a black and brown twist, worsted weight; size 10 circs, Addi-Turbo Lace. Almost every piece of clothing I own is either black or brown, so this should be a useful cardigan. So far, I love this sweater! I envision knitting versions of this pattern in many colors and different weight yarns.



Sunday, June 15, 2008


Results from World Wide CROCHET in Public Day
World Wide Knit in Public Day was great! For me, it was world wide CROCHET and knit in public day. I started out at 10am at the Original Farmers Market for our usual once-a-month Saturday morning WeHo SnB. A few newbies joined us. We had close to 20 people knitting and crocheting. I was so engrossed in crocheting granny squares for a scrapghan that I'm working on, that I forgot to take photos of all the people..sorry!
A Mano Yarn Center Knitters

Later in the day, I took out my camera at A Mano Yarn Center in Mar Vista. When I arrived at around 2pm, there were a few people outside the shop, knitting. It was slightly windy, so everyone else was inside, sitting at the big table. A very lively group, indeed.

My last stop for the day was Clover Park in Santa Monica with the Fairview Knitters. It was really getting chilly and windy by 3:30. We set up a sign and parked ourselves near the parkway. I'd estimate that there were about 10 of us, knitting and crocheting in the breezy sunshine of Santa Monica. A few people honked and waved as they drove by. It was a great day!

Debbie @ Clover Park
Vernette knits a hat
Sonia and Molly conferring about all things garter stitch
Lisa, Kim and Vernette @ Clover Park
Ellen and Heather on a windy day


Friday, June 13, 2008

Knit in Public Day

Why is this day different than any other day? I knit in public ALL the time! Tomorrow, Saturday, June 14, 2008 is World Wide Knit in Public Day. I plan to KIP at the Original Farmers Market (3rd and Fairfax) from 10am to noon, upstairs dining area with our WeHo SnBr's. Later in the day (3:30 -5:30) I'll be at Clover Park in Santa Monica with the Fairview Knitters. There should be groups all over the City. Join in or start your own!
I finished edging my red shawl the other day. After a quick wash in the machine with some fabric softener, I wore it to the WeHo SnB last night. I LOVE the color and am very pleased how it turned out. I will probably make a few more stole-like shawls this summer. They're like big swatches.
Crocheted Edge on Knitted Shawl
Have a great weekend!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Piano Parmesean

Last night Larry had a photo assignment at Miceli's Restaurant in Hollywood. I was lucky enough to tag along. The eggplant parmesean at Miceli's is absolutely my FAVORITE. We usually have dinner there just before a movie at the Cinematheque/Egyptian Theater down the street, so we have to rush through dinner. Last night we were there for two hours, eating dinner, listening to the magnificent piano stylist, Brian O'Rourke and thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

Even though this is sort of a restaurant review, I'm posting it here, because Miceli's is really about the heart of Hollwyood and visiting a landmark location. This restaurant has been here since 1949. In Los Angeles, that's an eternity!

The staff is so nice and accomodating at Miceli's. Of course, mostly tourists wander in from nearby Hollywood Boulevard, so the atmosphere is kinda' Disney-like, but it's always been that way. Even in the darkest and grungiest days of Hollywood, Miceli's was a warm and welcoming respite.

In addition to their divine eggplant parmesean, the pizza is excellent. They make their dinner rolls out of pizza dough! We shared a Caesar salad. Larry had the pasta primavera and of course, I had the eggplant.
I grew up going to the now closed Miceli's on La Cienega's Restaurant Row. There's also a branch on Cahuenga in Universal City. By far, the original Hollwyood restaurant on Las Palmas, just south of Hollywood Boulevard is my favorite. Dig those crazy wine bottles on the ceiling and the authentic, hand-carved wooden booths (originally from the Pig 'n Whistle Restaurant).

Pianist, Brian O'Rourke put on an especially entertaining show last night, playing all of our old favorites while showing us some piano tricks, like playing with one hand and combing his hair with the other; playing piano with his shoe on his hand; etc. He can perform almost any song you request. Some of the waiters sang a song and even one of the patrons, Frank Gotti sang along with Brian's accompaniment. I can't wait to go back!
Vintage Postcard of Miceli's in Beverly Hills - Restaurant Row

Miceli's Restaurant, 1646 Las Palmas Avenue, Hollwyood, 323/466-3438


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Taj Mahair

Donald Trump on a windy day
Saw this on Dakota Dreams and had to post! That's one mighty comb-over! I must remember to ship Mr. Trump some of my stash of Aqua-Net, Extra Super Hold.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ModCom Field Trip

Santora Arts Building
On Sunday, Larry and I went on a field trip with members of the Modern Committee of the L.A. Conservancy. We drove to the historic Santora Arts Building in downtown Santa Ana to the workshop and showroom of Joseph Musil and his Salon of Theatres.
Salon of Theatres
The showroom was set up like an art deco theater with models of historic theaters, like little doll houses lining the walls. The lighting in the showroom is most impressive and dramatic. Once everyone arrived, Mr. Musil gave us a tour of the theater models and explained how he has re-vamped and re-designed many L.A. theaters in the art deco motif, including The Crest Theater in Westwood. Mr. Musil has been involved in theater design since his high school days at Wilson H.S. in Long Beach.
Theater Models
After that he showed us his working samples of historic theater curtains...very elaborate! We then saw a DVD presentation on the historic theaters of Long Beach. It was a fascinating afternoon. You too can see Mr. Musil's showroom in Santa Ana on the first Friday of every month...more info here.
Mr. Musil's Workshop
We met up with our long-time friends and Santa Ana residents, Jonde and Nick, for dinner in downtown Orange. Jonde and I have known each other since our junior high days as campers at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. Below, I give you a photo of vintage Jonde and Ellen, courtesy of Jonde's archives!

Jonde and Ellen, Idyllwild, many years ago, above

Jonde, Nick and Ellen, downtown Orange, today

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Action-Packed Weekend

Van's Classic Slip-Ons with design by Niagara

We were reallllly busy this weekend. On Friday, Larry was invited to a VIP opening of a great new exhibit at Billy Shire Fine Arts gallery in East Culver City. Larry does a lot of photo work for the Gallery. The show, Niagara "Van's Special Exhibition," featured paintings, handbags and Van's tennis shoes all by artist, Niagara. Niagara lives and works in Detroit, but she was at the opening, along with other artists from the low-brow scene, including the godfather of the movement, Robert Williams.

Since this was a special VIP opening before the public opening, there were gift bags! Woo Hoo! We each received a very large tote-bag, with a Niagara image on it (heaven knows I can always use a hot tote); there was a cool double CD of Niagara's music inside, along with a faboo t-shirt, the current issue of Juxtapoz Magazine and the best of all.....a $50 gift certificate to get a pair of custom Van's!!!
The crowd was hipper than hip....mostly. There were some poseur-types, along with the art celebs. I was particularly fascinated by this group of chicks wearing high suede boots and short, short skirts. They moved in a group, never leaving each other's side. I'm sure they coordinated their outfits ahead of time, "Let's wear our winter boots with summer dresses!" Sheep. Maybe one day they will learn that when you attend an art opening in L.A., you either wear all black or you wear art on your back and make a statement as an individual, like Leopard-Head-Man...he was extremely cool!

Anyway, Billy Shire Fine Arts is an excellent gallery, along with it's sister gallery in East Hollywood, La Luz de Jesus. You really should get on their mailing lists. They have divine openings!

After spending about an hour at the reception, we zoomed down Venice Blvd. to Palms for a delicious dinner at Miyako. More about other weekend events later....

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Friday, June 06, 2008

A Few More Rows

Knitted Shawl, Crocheted Border
I'm done with the knitting portion of my nostalgic red shawl. I'm currently crocheting a I found in "50 Crocheted Afghan Borders" by Jean Leinhauser. I have about 3 more rounds to go, then I can block and wear the shawl! It's actually perfect shawl weather in L.A. right now...warm during the day, cool at night. I've decided that I really like a long narrow shawl versus a triangular one. I must make more!
Today is National Donut Day. Who knew? Too bad I forgot to stop at Bob's Donuts this morning at the Original Farmers Market to bring some treats for my co-workers. According to the L.A. Times, Bob's is rated #3 on their list of the top donut places in L.A. If you don't plan to scarf down a few sugar bombs today, I leave with a couple of pix of Bob's yummers...
Famous Kitty Doughnut
Bob's Party Doughnut

Have a great weekend!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery