Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chanukah is Early This Year

6-Pointed, Crocheted Chanukah Stars to Decorate my Office Lamp

Tomorrow (Wednesday) at sundown is the first night of Chanukah.
From the internet, here's a quick description of the celebration: The festival of Chanukah was established to commemorate the Jewish Maccabees' military victory over the Greek-Syrians and the re-dedication of the Second Temple, which had been desecrated by the Greek-Syrians, to the worship of God. Thus, Chanukah is a joyous celebration of Jewish national survival and religious freedom. When the Jews finished cleaning the temple for rededication, they wanted to light the eternal light, known as the N'er Tamid, which is present in every Jewish house of worship. Once lit, the oil lamp should never be extinguished. The Festival of the Lights, Chanukah, lasts for eight days to commemorate the miracle of the oil. The word Chanukah means "rededication". Only a tiny jug of oil was found with only enough for a single day. The oil lamp was filled and lit. Then a miracle occurred as the tiny amount of oil stayed lit not for one day, but for eight days.
Since Chanukah is usually close to Christmas, people often think that Chanukah is a major celebration like Christmas. It's not. Chanukah is a relatively small holiday, blown up by today's advertisers and it's proximity to Christmas. However, it is a fun holiday to celebrate with family. Because of the miracle of the oil, many of the traditional foods are cooked in oil. Yum. The favorite in my family is latkes or potato pancakes, served with a side of sour cream and/or apple sauce. There are many variations on the latke to make them a bit more healthy. My Mom likes to make the latkes with shredded zucchini. ANYTHING fried in hot oil is delicious! At our family gatherings, we usually have latkes, brisket of beef, some green vegetable and maybe a fruit compote instead of apple sauce. For dessert, a sampling of delicious cookies and rugelach from Diamond Bakery on Fairfax. Sephardic Jews have a tradition of frying bread or doughnuts called Sufganiot for dessert. they are often filled with fruit or jelly.

Sasha, Ellen, Denny, Ken - Chanukah, 1956
What are you serving for the holiday? Happy Chanukah!

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Monday, November 29, 2010

A-Frame Restaurant

On Friday, on our way back from visiting relatives in Playa del Rey, Larry and I stopped at the new A-Frame Restaurant for an early dinner. We got there at 5:45. By 6pm, the place was packed!
I'd read quite a bit about Roy Choi's and David Reiss's new place. Roy Choi is the Kogi Taco Truck guy and also owns Chego on Overland Ave. in Palms. David Reiss is the bar guy behind the Alibi Room and The Brig in Venice.
A-Frame is in an old International House of Pancakes Restaurant on the stretch of Washington Blvd. that is really Mar Vista, but is officially Culver City. It's called "A-Frame" due to the shape of the old IHOP building.

The food is fascinating. All kinds of interesting combos. The menu is supposed to be finger food, but there are utensils on each table just in case you want to keep your hands clean.

Furikake Kettle Corn
Blue Crab Cakes
Clam Chowder
Warm Corbread and Chicken Salad

We sat at a table for six people. There was another couple on the other end, with a chair between us. By 6:15, all six seats were filled at our table. I do like this arrangement. You get to see what the other people are eating, sometimes even get a taste! It's a very friendly atmosphere. The full bar was hoppin' by the time we left. There's also a patio with heaters outside, in addition to a fire pit. A-Frame is a very cool hang.For nostalgia's sake, I even overheard someone trying to order the "Rooty Tootie Fresh 'n Fruity." A-Frame 12565 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA (310) 398-7700

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Family Thanksgiving

Del Rey Yacht Club, Marina del Rey

Once again, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with the entire family. There were about 30 of us at the Marina last night. The dinner was delicious and everyone had a great time. Our family closed the place! Everyone just stayed and stayed and talked and talked!

The Main Dining Room was Packed!
We were in a smaller dining area for our large group

Dinner was Deeeee-licious!
Pumpkin & Pecan pie, apple crisp with whipped cream

Yes, I'm thankful for my family and the good times we always have.
During the day I worked on finishing Larry's blue slipover. I finished it so he could model it last night! The sweater looks great on him!

Cousin Laurie and Larry. Aunt Mae and Cousin Doug in the background

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving in Los Angeles

Glenn Dumont, 4, and Donna Lyn Dumont, 8, are awed by the turkey their grandmother, Mrs. A. John Gallagher, readies for their Thanksgiving dinner.
November 21, 1956, Los Angeles Herald Examiner. From the L.A. Public Library Photo Archives

Preparations for Thanksgiving are underway! Are you brining your bird? Have you pre-boiled the potatoes for mashing? Did you remember to buy the canned mushroom soup for that green bean casserole?
I'll be dining OUT with my family this year. I do love getting together with all my cousins and aunties. There are usually about 30 of us. I'll be cooking an abbreviated turkey dinner at home for just the two of us over the weekend. We might try barbecuing portions of the bird!
Hoping to have nice, clear weather in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. Yesterday, the sky over Santa Monica looked like this:
Today, the skies are less ominous:
I hope you have a sunny and delicious Thanksgiving feast!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chado Tea Room

Our "Sometimes Sunday Crochet" group met for lunch last weekend to celebrate Julie's birthday. We had a lovely high tea at the Chado Tea Room on 3rd St. near La Cienega in the Beverly-Grove Section of L.A.

L-R: Natalie, Beth, Carol, Julie, Lori

The food was great and quite reasonable. We each ordered our own pot of tea. The tea list is about 40 pages long. Most of us had the high tea luncheon which consisted of perfect little tea sandwiches, a scone with clotted cream, strawberries and preserves, cake and cookies. Lori ordered the Waldorf Salad which looked fabulous too.

High Tea Tray and Carol
Waldorf Salad

Baby Shower Celebration

There was a large party at the other end of the tea room, so it was a very festive afternoon. The Chado Tea Room sells all of their teas as well a wonderful array of tea accessories (tea pots, cups, etc.).

The Tea Bar

It was a perfect birthday celebration! Happy Birthday, Julie!

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Monday, November 22, 2010


Last week I finished a short scarf, crocheted with Lion Brand "Amazing", self-striping yarn. I saw Jenny King’s Noro Stole online and LOVED the pattern. I looked closely at the photo and figured out the pattern. It’s one row of dc’s, then one row of alternating 3 trc’s, 3 chains, beginning and ending with the 3 trc's. This pattern looks fantastic in striping yarn with long colorway runs. The "Amazing" yarn yardage for one skein is 147 yards. It made a nice, short scarf.I just finished blocking the same patterned scarf made from Noro Kureyon yarn. It's doubly amazing! Noro's colors always knock me out. The combinations are startling. I used about 2-1/2 skeins of different Noro colorways, about 250 yards. size "I" crochet hook.This is a perfect "gift" scarf....colorful with a simple, yet striking pattern.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Vintage Photo Friday

Ken, Ellen and Roz Bloom

I was just a few months old when this photo was taken by my Dad. We are standing in front of our house that Dad designed on Castle Heights Avenue in the Beverlywood section of Los Angeles. The homes in the area where we lived were built mostly after World War II. They were modified ranch-style tract homes. My Dad bought the lot where our home was built and designed an entirely different style of house. As you can see by the photo below, the garage was on the first level and the rest of the house was upstairs. The backyard was a hillside and my Dad, being a student of modern architecture, decided to build a home into the environment. I was only two years old when we moved from Castle Heights Avenue, but I drive by the home often. It's still there....looking modern and classy!

2116 Castle Heights Avenue, Los Angeles

Pudgy Baby!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh Yeah!

I think it's gonna work out fine!

I hope to finish the front of Larry's sweater before the weekend. Woo Hoo! If I keep crankin', I may be able to complete this before Chanukah, Christmas or at the least, Larry's January b-day!

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Prep?

One week before the big Thanksgiving feast! Are you ready? Did you buy the turkey? Are you researching side-dish recipes? I'm extremely lucky. My Mother and my Aunt host our family Thanksgiving every year. This year all 30 of us will be dining in style at Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey. It's always a wonderful feast. We reserve a private dining room so that all family members can really talk and the kids can run around.
I do love our family gatherings, but because we eat out, we NEVER have turkey leftovers. In the past, I've roasted a turkey breast and prepared a few sides for our very own post-T-giving feast at home.
Last Year's Meal for Larry and Ellen @ home
Ellen's Pumpkin Ice-Cream, Graham Cracker Crust Pie

There are other options. A few months ago, Larry and I attended "Make: Craft" at Otis Art Institute. I don't know the name of the artist, but this installation made me laugh.

A few other menu options, below.
Yummmm...my childhood fave!

Sugar Cookies that you'll GOBBLE up!

There are some great Thanksgiving meal ideas here! Start planning!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not-So-Secret Project

Here's a project I've been planning for about 2 years. I swapped this beautiful blue Cascade 220 Superwash yarn with my friend, Heather. It's the most perfect color for Mr. Larry! I've been searching for just the right pattern to CROCHET a slipover sweater for him. After tons and tons of research, I've come to the realization that a KNIT sweater for Larry is best. The drape and fit of a knitted garment versus a crocheted garment just works better for men's sweaters.
Time to search for the perfect knitted pattern for Larry's sweater. I knew that I wanted to throw a few cable stitches and some other textured stitches into the mix. I looked up Fisherman knits.....too dense and complicated. I searched on Ravelry....nothing appealed to me.

Then I searched my own library of patterns. Debbie Stoller's "Son of Stitch 'n Bitch" had an excellent pattern. "Checks and Balances" was the right shape, weight yarn and had a simple schematic.

"Checks and Balances" by Debbie Stoller

I substituted my own pattern stitches and came up with a very nice, nubby pattern of mostly 3x3 waffle boxes with a 6-8-6 cable pattern down the center. I knit a mistake rib (multiple of 3 sts., K1, K1,P1) for the bottom band on size 7 needles; switched to size 10 needles and worked up my pattern. I've finished the back of the sweater and am about half-done with the front. This will be a round-neck slipover. I've decided to knit the sleeves at the same time to insure that they are the exact same size. It's been a very long time since I knit an entire sweater. So far, I like it!

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Monday, November 15, 2010


ROA's Installation @ New Puppy Gallery

After a delicious sandwich at Philippe's the French Dip on Saturday night, Larry and I zoomed up to Glassell Park to the New Puppy Gallery. There are many galleries on the NELA Art Walk map. New Puppy is one of the hipper hangs on the tour. The show was curated by Thinkspace Gallery of Culver City. The artist featured, ROA, does these amazing drawings/paintings on the sides of buildings, doors, shutters, and more of animals in varying degrees of life and dessication. It was a startling exhibit, along with ongoing slide shows of past projects.
Next stop was Highland Park's, Mor York Gallery. Our friend, Erika Marrin had a photo show in the front of the gallery. The back of the building houses owner, Clare Graham's amazing collections and art assemblages.

Larry @ Mor YorkPuzzle Piece Assemblage by Clare GrahamClare Graham's Space @ Mor York Gallery
Ellen, in front of Jody Miller Photos of Highland Park Artists

Last stop, Future Studio for the Arroyo Arts Collective Show.

Amy & Stuart of Future Studio, photographed by Jody Miller

We always have a fun time on this art walk!

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery