Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tim Burton Exhibit @ LACMA

On Saturday we had tickets to see the Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA.
There was a review of the show in the L.A. Times today. Reviewer Christopher Knight did not like the fact that the show contained so much stuff! He thought it should have been edited a bit. Au contraire!!! I felt like I was looking into Tim Burton's garage! I loved seeing all of his early drawings, short films, notebooks and doodles leading up to his directing career! Apparently, Knight is not a fan like I am.

early painting by Tim Burton
Facial Maquettes for Jack Skellington character
Black-light Merry-Go-Round
"Willy Wonka" Character
I love that Burton grew up in Burbank! He's a home-boy! Of course, many of the items in the show, including figures, costumes, scenery and props were fabricated by outside people, but all of it came from Burton's fertile mind. There's so much content to this show, that I will probably return a few times during the summer. I could not possibly see everything in one visit.
The museum was packed! Burton had been there earlier in the day to autograph copies of his book. People were dressed like characters from many Burton movies...lots of black & white stripes and goth clothes. For a pop-culture show, I thought it was terrific. I urge you to see it!

Exit through the Gift Shop

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

1958 Photo courtesy of L.A. Public Library Archives, Herald-Examiner Collection
The Hollywood Memorial Park is now known as Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Memorial Day is a day to remember all the people who have served, and are serving, in the armed forces; our surviving veterans; and to honor those who have died in past wars. There are many observances in and around the Los Angeles area this weekend. Below is a photo of my Dad, George, and his brothers soon after World War II, posing in their uniforms. Thanks, guys!

Mort, Hi and George Bloom, Los Angeles, 1946

Yes, this weekend is the kick-off to summer! Woo Hoo! Thankfully, the weather is mild, not too hot yet. After a moment of silence in honor of our Veterans, I plan on going to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see the Tim Burton Exhibit. LACMA has changed quite a bit over it's 46 years at the Miracle Mile location. I look forward to exploring the new buildings this weekend.

LACMA, 1965, William Pereira Architectural FirmLACMA, 2010
You can see the original building on the left
Broad Buildling @ LACMA today
LACMA Design History

However you decide to commemorate this holiday weekend, be safe and have a grand time!

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seen Around Town

Trader Joe's Parking Lot, Hollywood

As I zoom around my beloved Los Angeles, I like to snap shots of places and things that amuse me. Here are a few!

East Culver CityOverland Ave., Palms - Trick-Name Apartments!Street Art, Sunset Blvd., West HollywoodAccordion-Roof, Pico near Beverly Dr., L.A. (formerly an Orange Julius Stand)Peter Shire Sculpture in Home Depot Parking Lot, Pico-Union, Los AngelesCarousel, Santa Monica PierOur new refrigerator being delivered!!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jax in the City

It's Jacaranda time in Los Angeles. So many of our streets are filled with beautiful purple and lilac trees!

Fairfax Ave. between 18th St. and Venice Blvd.

Even though, once the blossoms fall on our cars it's a sticky mess, I do love this time of year. Are there Jacaranda trees on your street?

Jacaranda tree in front of our little house

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Mitered Cross Squares

Afghans are a knitter's and crocheter's best friends. You always need another one. If you make them in sections, they are easy projects to carry around. You can use so many different types of designs to make a fantastic afghan. I've made tons of afghans over the years....many for gifts. We must have at least 10 afghans in our home right now.
Lately, I've been obsessing over Kay Gardiner's Mitered Cross Afghan. The design is taken from a classic quilt pattern. There's a group on Ravelry dedicated to this pattern. All proceeds from the sale of this $5 pattern are donated to Mercy Corps in 2011. These donations are designated for Japan earthquake / tsunami relief and thereafter to support Mercy Corps' other relief work. So far, over $12,000 has been raised for this worthwhile cause just from the sale of Kay's pattern.
The pattern is very well-written, even for a beginning knitter. I'd never really knit mitered squares before and I LOVE them! This is one addicting pattern, especially with self-striping yarn!

I'm trying to use yarn from my stash for these squares. I'm using Karyn's scratchy gray wool for the borders. I've used some Bernat Mosaic in the "Psychedelic" colorway for two squares. Now, I'm working on a third square using my fave Noro Kureyon 185 colorway.

I also recently finished another afghan for a friend who loves gray! The squares are made from Vanna's Choice yarn in the "Oatmeal" colorway...very tweedy. The borders are LionBrand Homespun, dark gray and very boucle'-like. I like the mix of textures. I crocheted a lacy border to give it a more feminine look, even though it's for a couple. I couldn't help myself and had to add one square with a touch of aqua in the center. It's my signature.

Afghan Props and location by LorFry


Monday, May 23, 2011

Bar Mitzvah Al Fresco

Jake's Bar Mitzvah Al Fresco

We attended my second cousin's grandson's Bar Mitzvah on Saturday. Yeah, that's kinda' removed, I know. The California branch of the Bloom family is kinda' tight-knit. Anyway, this was the first time I'd ever attended a Bar Mitzvah NOT in a synagogue! The service and reception were in my cousin's backyard, near Agoura Hills. Wow! It was extremely fabulous....very deeeluxe! There was a beautiful dinner with the added attraction of a Tommy's Burgers truck in front of the house for the kids!

Dad Danny, Bar Mitzvah Jake, Mom Natalie

They built a stage over the swimming pool, erected a framework with chandeliers and fabric hanging over the Torah, etc. The backyard was decorated in blue, white, yellow and lilac. The food was amazing and most of all, the Bar Mitzvah Boy, Jake was really excellent. He recited his portion of the Torah perfectly and gave a marvelous speech. It's always fun hangin' with my cousins! Mazel tov, Jake!

Hunky Rabbi-Cantor!

Tommy Burgers for the kids!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday

I snapped this photo last week. The Wilshire Ward chapel of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) is on Manhattan Place in Los Angeles, right around the corner from El Cholo Restaurant on Western Avenue. This building was originally known as the Hollywood Stake Tabernacle. It was a central meeting place for the local Mormon community from the 1930's until the 1950's, when the Westwood Temple was built.
I did a bit of online searching to see if I could come up with a vintage photo of this beautiful building. The only photo I could find was the one below and this one. This building hasn't changed at all. Only the palm trees have grown higher over the years.

There was quite a bit of information about this building. It was finished in 1929, designed by architects Hyrum C. Pope and Harold W. Burton. It appears that these two gentlemen designed many chapels and LDS buildings throughout their career. This area of Los Angeles is called Country Club Park because Los Angeles Country Club used to be located here before it moved to the area just between Beverly Hills and Westwood.
The building is a solid piece of reinforced concrete. it is a combination of classical and modern design. The building is a modern interpretation of the Byzantine and Gothic architectural styles. The building was designated L.A. Historic Cultural Monument #531 in 1991. This neighborhood is being proposed for a Historical Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).
This area was developed to capitalize on land adjacent to the streetcar lines. The bulk of development occurred between 1919 and 1924. The architectural styles represented are Craftsman, Tudor Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, Mediterranean Revival with a few California Ranch homes and Streamline Moderne buildings thrown into the mix. There's quite a bit of motion picture and TV location production in this part of town because of the authentic architecture.
You just never know what hidden treasures you'll find when you drive around the back-streets of Los Angeles!
Have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, May 19, 2011


I crocheted the cover for this pillow last year, but never listed it on my Project Page on Ravelry! I became so accustomed to seeing the pillow everyday on our couch, that I didn't even see it anymore! Does that happen to you? Sometimes we need "fresh" eyes to see things that are everyday for us. I posted a photo of our living room on this blog yesterday and my friend, Suzette asked about THAT pillow!
OK, Suzette! Here are the specifications! I took an old beat up pillow and crocheted two sides for it., using leftover Red Heart and Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn, size "G" crochet hook The side you see is made up of smaller granny squares, crocheted together. The other side is just one big granny square quickly crocheted out of variegated yarn. I joined the two sides by crocheting around the outer edges with solid brown yarn. I stuffed the pillow inside the cover and crocheted the fourth side closed. I chose a bright aqua yarn for the knife edge. I crocheted a crab-stitch (backwards single crochet) for the final edge.
I totally copied a pillow I saw on Elizabeth Cat's Flickr page. She uses this design often. Check out that hassock! I want to make a cover for our hassock too.....eventually! One day all of our furniture will probably be covered in crochet!

Elizabeth Cat's Designs

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Around the House

Hand-Made Folk Art Bird House

Sometimes I just like to snap photos of stuff around the house. Yes, we have too much stuff. We should get rid of lots of our stuff. However, it took us years and years of collecting to acquire this stuff. I like to admire my stuff. I'm reminded of that George Carlin bit about "Stuff." He says, "A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it."

Treasure Craft Display Fish Dish
Stuff I Crochet
Memorbilila Stuff
Poodle Stuff
Mid-20th Century Pottery StuffVintage Art StuffBeauteous Orangey Yarn Stuff

None of our stuff is monetarily that valuable, but it all has sentimental value to us. We have some REALLY GOOD STUFF, including lots and lots of estate sale finds and yarn. One of these days we'll get rid of the excess stuff. For now, I'll enjoy it.
How much stuff do you have hiding in your house?

Stuff in the Art / Photo Studio

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery