Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Building Blocks to Fashion

I was crusing thru some of my old yarny inspiration pix and came across this one, taken in the parking lot at LACC, during the Felt Club, November 2007. I just happened upon this lady and her fabulous sweater and asked if I could photograph it. I don't know her, but she's stylin'.

Colorful Crocheted Cardi

Now, I have to figure out how to make this cardigan!


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday with the Girls

Brit Marveling at Vintage Canned Ham w/all the Fixin's

On Sunday afternoon, a few of my homegirls came over to work on a crochet project. I whipped up a few salads, the other girls brought over some more yummies and we sat around the dining room table and worked. It was hot. The fans and mini-a/c were cranked. Brit came by for moral support and proceeded to regale us with quaint ads from some of Madge's vintage magazines.
Mary Jo and Carla
We all work well together....Natalie, Carla, Mary Jo and I. We accomplished what we set out to do. More about that later! Thanks for a great afternoon, Ladies.

Natalie Concentrates on Crochet


Monday, July 28, 2008

Socks, Socks, Socks!!!

I am not a sock knitter. I have made three socks. Yup, I have second sock syndrome. SOOOOOOO, my good friend, Mary Jo asked me what I wanted for my b-day this year. Socks, of course. She knits 'em all the time and they always look great.
For my b-day she gave me these great chunky house socks in my favorite rusty color. I really like them, but I haven't been able to wear them yet because the weather is so hot.
On Sunday, MJ gifted me with the original pair of socks that she was knitting for me. You can read about her sock journey here. Sheesh! I feel so guilty. Poor MJ started a ton o' tootsie projects just for me!
Mary Jo's Austermann Stepp Sox
photo by Natalie
The Austermann Step socks are gorgeous. Natalie took this photo of me wearing the socks with some clear clogs that I bought so that everyone could see Mary Jo's creations! Thank you, MJ. You're a peach!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vacation is Over

"Pinkie" by Thomas Lawrence @ Huntington Library
That's it. Today is the last day of my 2-week vacation. I must say, it's been heavenly. On Friday, Larry and I visited the Huntington Library in San Marino. We wanted to see the current photo exhibit, "This Side of Paradise. Body and Landscape in L.A. Photographs.
It was an excellent exhibit, beautifully displayed and all-encompassing. After the photo exhibit, we walked over to Huntington's Mansion to see some of the regular collection. Of course, we had to go into the grand hall to see Pinkie and Blue Boy. Then I hit the fantastic gift shop while Larry toured the cactus garden. The entire estate has been refurbished and it is magnificent. We skipped the Chinese Garden because it was just too hot to walk around much.
After a few hours, we drove over to Twoheys for a much-needed lunch. I used to live in Highland Park (ancient history...way back in the late '70's), so Twohey's has always been a fave. It was divine. We even saw a few people we'd seen at the Huntington chowing down on burgers, fries and milkshakes!

Back to work tomorrow!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Taa Daa!

I finished my February Lady Sweater in the "Lipstick" colorway. More photos to come.
We're rushing out of the house right now to go to the Huntington Library in San Marino. I haven't been there in years, and there are a few good exhibits I want to catch, in addition to seeing how they have refurbished the grounds. Later.....
Next Day....OK, took a few outdoor shots of the Lipstick FLS. I like it, but I won't be able to wear it until our hot LA weather cools down a bit.Gull Lace Close-up


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I, Tourist

For this second week of my stay-cation, I've been trying to visit some local L.A. attractions. I finally visited the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the L.A. County Museum of Art on Wilshire and Fairfax. It's a very impressive building! Of course, the Broads have a magnificent collection of modern art, including pieces by Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Barbara Kruger, John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Chris Burden, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and many more. I parked on 6th Street and walked thru the La Brea Tar Pits Park to get to the Museum. I always love to see the tar bubbling up through the grass and check out the statues of ancient dinosaurs and wooly mammoths! I also visited the former May Company building (May West) to see Cheech Marin's collection: Chicano Painters of L.A. Wow! What a fabulous collection. All of my favorites are represented: Patssi Valdez, Gronk, Carlos Almaraz and more. Here's a short slide show of my adventures. Too bad I wasn't allowed to take photos inside the exhibits.

Today, Joan and I went on a major field trip! We drove up the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu to visit the Adamson House. I've been there several times, but I always see something new during each visit. The Adamson house is sort of an advertisement for all that Malibu Tile Co. had to offer during the 20's and 30's. The house is a showpiece of tile use. It's positively magnificent. You can read about a little bit of the history of the house here.

Joan in the upstairs kitchen @ The Adamson House
After our extensive tour of the house and grounds, we drove a little further up the coast to the Malibu Seafood Cafe, a delightful outdoor lunch spot. Joan had the ahi tuna burger and I had a cup of their faboo clam chowder and some fish tacos. Everything was so fresh! Just sitting, eating and overlooking the ocean was wonderful. After lunch we drove back to the Malibu Pier to see how the restoration has progressed. It looks great. There's only one restaurant (where the old Alice's Restaurant used to be) The Beachcomber, but more are in the works. There were lots of people fishing off the Pier. It was a perfect day for our field trip. I do love Los Angeles...every single corner of it!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tchotke & Stash Enhancement

Oh! What a birthday I've been having. I've been wined, dined and gifted to the max! It's not quite over yet. My birthday tends to go on for about a week or so. I've photographed just a few of the marvy gifts I've been given in the slide show below. Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful and generous gifts!

On Sunday morning, the actual day of my b-day, we met up with Audrey and Jeff for breakfast at the new Kokomo Cafe. Kokomo was formerly located in the Original Farmers Market. Now they have a beautiful new restaurant a few blocks east at Martel and Beverly Blvd. All of my favorite items are still on the menu, like Eggs Sardou. Audrey and Jeff brought all kinds of faboo gifties with them. Later on that day, we met up with my Mom and Step-Dad at Casa Sanchez on Centinela Ave. in Mar Vista for dinner. What a festive place! There was a full mariachi band with violins and everything! Dancers too. I could tell that this was a special celebration/destination restaurant. The food was great. We had an excellent time.
The next day my cousins, Amie and Carol treated me to lunch at Cafe Ugo in downtown Culver City. Amie creates beautiful jewelry. She gifted me with a lovely pair of carnelian earrings.
All in all, it's been an excellent b-day far. The best part is that I'm still on vacation from work! Woo Hoo!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Celebratin' with my HomeGirls

My birthday has been and still is a whirlwind celebration. I'm still on vacation this week! Yayyyy! On Saturday my sweet dear Larry hosted a little b-day luncheon for a few of my knitster girlfriends at the HomeGirl Cafe, downtown L.A.
I really like this restaurant. The food is very inventive, it's a cheerful, new building, easy parking and the staff is nice. I'm often there on Saturday afternoons for the HomeGirl Stitch 'n Bitch. This Saturday we combined my b-day with the SnB. Thanks to all who made my b-day a wonderful one!

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Friday, July 18, 2008

108 Degrees in the Shade!

Yesterday morning, I waved a fond farewell to beautiful Mile-High Idyllwild. I decided to drive down the Hill the opposite way from which I approached it a few days earlier. I took Highway 74 toward Hemet and swerved toward Palm Desert. As I drove down the hill, the outside temperature soared. In Idyllwild it was a lovely 75 degrees F. when I left. 45 minutes later, I was in hot, hot, hot Palm Desert. It was 97 degrees F.
I stopped at the Michael's at Town Centre. It's usually a fully-stocked store. They had a good selection of yarn, but nothing I hadn't already seen. Then I drove over to the Yarn Co. on El Paseo just to check in. They were in the midst of inventory, so there was yarn everywhere....which is not a bad thing, but I couldn't get to the shelves of cotton blends, so I left. By then, the temperature had risen to 100 degrees F.
I stopped for a sandwich at Sherman's Deli in Palm Springs, across from the PS Spa Hotel. Delicious chicken salad. Then, I drove over to the Palm Springs Art Museum to see the D.J. Hall retrospective. I was not disappointed. The show was magnificent. I've been following her painting career since the early 1980's. It was wonderful to see her progression thru the years. Of course, since I didn't buy any yarn in P.S., I bought the catalog to the show.

D.J. Hall 35 Year Retrospective
"Summer Past-Time", 1995, painting by D.J. Hall
On the lower level of the Museum there was a photo show by Nickolas Muray, featuring his photographs of Frida Kahlo. Most of the photos were of Frida....some very familiar and iconic. Other photos were of Frida's life in Mexico.
I really love the PS Art Museum. The building is very mid-century modern, it's not too huge, so it's very manageable for a short visit. They always have interesting exhibits. The admission is FREE most of the time!
When I got back in my car at about 1:30 to drive back to L.A. the outside temperature was 108 degrees F. Time to get outta there!
My drive home was blessedly uneventful and quick. I pulled into our driveway at about 3:20 p.m. Perfect. Just enough time to rest, relax and cool off before heading over to the Farmers Market for the WeHo SnB. Of course, we had a grand time.
This is the beginning of my b-day weekend celebration extravaganza! Woo Hoo! Hope yours is good too!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Idyllwild, Day 2

The Road to ISOMATA

This morning I did a few errands in the office, drug store, etc. Then I packed up my knitting and drove over to the Idyllwild Arts Foundation Campus.

As mentioned in previous posts, I spent many happy summers as a camper and counselor here. I wanted to see how the campus had changed. When I was a student at ISOMATA, it was primarily a summer camp and was used as a retreat for USC faculty and educational groups during the winter. Now, it's a year-round campus.

Wow! I couldn't believe the changes! Instead of rickety lean-to studios, there were fully realized buildings on campus. There's a sound studio, photo lab, dance studios, a full dining hall and more. I saw many students toting their instruments, on their way to workshops. I visited my old haunt...the ceramics studio, while a class was in progress. The equipment was much improved. I did meet up with one or two old friends as I sat among the pines and knit a bit on my February Lady Sweater. It was a great day.

I came back to the Village later, rested a bit before going out to dinner at the Idyllwild Pizza Company and a meet-up with the Idyllwild SnB. Vanessa is the moderator of the Idyllwild SnB. She was so welcoming. The group is great. There were 6 of us there. Sometimes they have more, sometimes less, depending upon everyone's schedules. The ladies were either knitting or crocheting beautiful pieces! It was a very fun evening. I hope to visit again when I can.
Note to all knitters and crocheters: Look up the SnB group in the town where you plan to visit. Stitchers are great people and it's always fun to meet up with your fellow craftsters!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In Idyllwild

On my way up to mile-high Idyllwild today I stopped in Redlands at a very nice little yarn shop called The Yarn Deli. I happened on a sale too! Everything in the shop was at least 20% off and some yarns as much as 50% off. Even on a very hot day in a sizzling town, the yarn shop was crowded and ladies were buying WOOL! I picked up some more Noro Kureyon #182. You just can't have too much of #182. The Noro was 20% off. The prices at the Yarn Deli are a tad more than similar stores in L.A., but the Noro was still a good deal. I also purchased 3 skeins of a yarn I'd never seen before called Ashford Tekapo 100 gm Pure New Zealand Wool @ 50% off. The ladies at the Yarn Deli even gave me a hand-knitted sachet and a store ball point pen along with my purchase. Nice place!
I reached Idyllwild at about 2pm. It must be at least 20 degrees cooler up here than down at the base of the mountain. Perfect.

The Idyllwild Inn

After driving around a bit and re-orienting myself with the place, I checked into the Idyllwild Inn. Very cute place. I'm in a room called "Summer." The town looks much the same as it did when I was a camper up here over 30 years ago, except there are many more "new age" type gift shops. I couldn't find anyplace that sold Idyllwild postcards!

The Village of Idyllwild
I had dinner at the Cafe Aroma. It was delightful....good food and live jazz. More sight-seeing tomorrow and later in the evening I'm meeting up with the Idyllwild SnB group!
View of Mount Tahquitz from the Village

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And Now It Begins

Pool and Pagoda with view of Hollywood at Yamashiro's
Last night my B.F.F., Rhoda took me out for a pre-b-day dinner at Yamashiro in Hollywood. It was a beautiful night and the view was spectacular. In years past, Yamashiro was known for it's classic architecture and the view of the City....not the food. Well, there must be a new chef, because the food was fantastic. Rhoda gifted me with some spectacular items later.


Monday, July 14, 2008


IBM Selectric Typewriter
I'm officially on vacation! Over the weekend we stayed close to home at night, watching the first season of "Mad Men." Everyone has been raving about the show. It's just OK....kinda' dark, but interesting characters if you can get past all of the politically incorrectness of it all. ALSO, I'm a stickler for putting the right props for the time period in a production. It's supposed to be 1960. All of the secretaries in the "Mad Men" office are using long carriage Selectric typewriters. I happen to know that most offices were still using manual typewriters or electric typewriters with moving carriages at the time. The Selectric with the golf ball element didn't come in until 1961 and it was a short platen, 12 inches, not a long one of 16 inches. I'm sure that the prop people just couldn't put their hands on a ton of old electric typewriters from that era for the shoot. They explained it away in the script by saying that "these are the latest in one else has them yet." Yeah, right.
On Saturday morning I went to our once-a-month Stitch & Bitch at the Original Farmers Market. We had about 8-10 people present. It was fun. I had a pre-b-day lunch with some of my cousins after that. After hangin' with them for awhile at The Grove, I double-SnB'd it and went down to the HomeGirl Cafe to sit and knit a bit. I just love that place. It's lively, the food is good, easy parking and it's air-conditioned. One of the reporters from the Downtown L.A. Town Crier interviewed a few of us and took some photos of the group.
Sunday was a quiet day too. We went to our fave coffeeshop, Pann's, for breakfast then to a neighbor's get together in the afternoon.
Today, I met up with the knitters in Montrose and finished the body of my February Lady Sweater, Lipstick Colorway. I'm on my way to the sleeves!

The body of the FLS is now complete! This photo was from last Thursday
Tomorrow morning I'm leaving town for a few days of rest and relaxation in the pine-tree, mountain village of Idyllwild. I'll be sure and take plenty of photos!

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Summertime SnB

Big Group at the WeHo SnB Last Night!
I really love my Stitch 'n Bitch groups! The group I've attended for the longest time is the WeHo SnB that meets every Thursday night at the Original Farmers Market (3rd and Fairfax) from 7-9 in the upstairs dining area.

Last night was a particularly well-attended meet-up. We even had a few newcomers!

I left work early and made it over to 3rd and Fairfax by 6:30, so I zoomed into Dupar's to see if Regina and Jenna were still there. When they do attend the WeHo SnB, they often eat first at Dupar's. I caught them and ordered a yummy chicken pot pie.

We walked upstairs and joined the knitters and crocheters. As the evening progressed, more people joined us.It was very exciting to see Baby Vivian do some impressive walking! What a great night! Do join us when you're in town.
This Saturday is our once-a-month morning meeting of the WeHo SnB. We'll be in the upstairs dining area from 10am to noon tomorrow, July 12th. Hope to see you there.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Normandie Authentic French Bistro & Bakery

Ellen's Palm Frond Hat
Today's post is here. This place is a hidden little gem in Mid-City L.A. You'll just love it!

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Everyone in the Pool

It's about pooling! I absolutely L*O*V*E variegated yarn. The problem: At times the colors pool, leaving large areas of one color when I want that mixed up sketchy look of variegated yarn. Darn yarn.

Pooling Lace

I decided to stick with the gull lace pattern on my Lipstick February Lady Sweater instead of using a garter stitch/slip stitch pattern. The yarn started to pool in the lace pattern. It's not too bad, but the gull lace pattern doesn't show up too well. It's rather busy. On the advice of knit maveness, Princess Leah, I've added in another skein o' yarn, alternating between skeins every two rows. Hope this helps the pooling. We'll see.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lithuania Mania

Lithuanian Folk Dancers
On Sunday, our dear friends, Audrey and Jeff, invited us to the 13th Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival at the Galen Center near USC. It seems they know one of the main organizers of the event. I'm always up for Eastern European folkiness (my roots are Ukranian, Russian and Polish), so we accepted their invitation.

It was a sunny, beautiful day. We arrived at USC around 1:30, parked in the parking structure near the dorms on Figueroa and crossed the street to the Galen Center. This is a relatively new building where USC basketball and volleyball are played. It's a really nice, modern building with interesting artistic touches.

We found our $40 apiece seats and saw the Mistress of Ceremonies, Ruta Lee, center stage. Ruta is Lithuanian. Who knew? She's fluent in the language and is an ardent supporter of all things Lithuanian here in the United States. Check out her website and you can read about all of the philanthropic work she's done for the Lithuanian community as well as for the charitable showbiz organization, the Thalians.

The show was a whirling extravaganza of dancers in colorful embroidered and woven costumes. Most of the dances depicted farming and nature rituals. The hundreds of participants were very young to very old. This was family entertainment, for sure! We hung out for a few hours, then decided that we'd had enough of hopping, skipping, jumping and whirling about.

We drove over to the Rodeo Mexican Grill on Olympic Blvd. and Burlington for an early dinner. It was, of course, delicious. Thanks to Audrey and Jeff for inviting us to this memorable performance!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery