Monday, October 31, 2011

A Very Busy Halloween

So far, we've attended three Halloween parties....three separate costumes. I'm exhausted and Halloween isn't over yet! Oy!
First Party, WeHo Stitch 'n Witch. Larry wore one of his Forest J Ackerman Dr. Acula t-shirts . I was a Sophisticated Kitty.

Dr. Acula
Sophisticated Kitty

Second Party, Wilshire Vista Halloween Haunt. Larry is the official photographer for this neighborhood block party so he just wore his Chevy Fez so he'd be free of costume restraints for heavy-duty photo work. I wore a version of the Dia de los Muertos Posada artwork...sort of like a Victorian Skeleton.

Chevy Fez Photographer
Posada Calavera Elena de Wilshire Vista

Third Party: At a private home. The theme was Amityville High School Prom Night, "Forever Young." This was a few too many themes for a Halloween party for me! Larry paid no attention to the theme and fashioned a "Richard Harrow" prosthetic for his face, much like the one worn by this character in the HBO Series, "Boardwalk Empire." I tried to adhere to the party theme a bit and wore my vampire version of the Material Girl from the 1980's....more like the Material Matron!

Richard "Larry" Harrow
The Material Matron

Tonight is actually Halloween! I'm sure Larry will wear his scary prosthetic face mask to frighten the kidlets. I'm wearing my kitty ears and regular clothes. That's it. I'm done. It's over until next year!! Happy Hallowween!

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday

Venice Beach, California, 1936
photo courtesy of L.A. Public Library Photo Archives

I've been reading about the history of Venice Beach. It seems that there have always been special events scheduled for this beach community, ever since it became a tourist attraction in 1905, engineered by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney. One of the major events, prior to World War II was the Venice Mardi Gras. The notation accompanying this photo in the L.A. Public Library Photo Archives says that this masked woman may be part of the Venice Mermaid Mardi Gras, 1936!
Halloween is this coming Monday. There are lots of Halloween parties, parades and festivals to attend this weekend in the L.A. area. Have you prepared your costume yet?
We celebrated Halloween early last night at the West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch, Original Farmers Market. This year's theme was Fairy Tales. There were three categories for prizes: Best costume/Fairy Tale; Best Costume/Yarny; Best Costume/Overall. I was just too busy this year to be very creative in yarn or the special category, so I put together a Sophisticated Kitty outfit. We had a great time. To see more photos and the contest winners, check out my Facebook album.

Happy Halloween.....Meowwww!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hamburger Hamlet

9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood

It's the end of an era. The very last Hamburger Hamlet restaurant in L.A. proper is closing. At one time there were about a dozen Hamburger Hamlets in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and the surrounding areas. The only two left in California are the ones in Sherman Oaks and Pasadena.

Last night Larry and I had dinner at the Hamlet on Sunset Blvd. just inside the West Hollywood border, near Beverly Hills. The very first HH was located just down the block from this incarnation, near the Whiskey-a-Go-Go. The Hamlet has been in business since 1950. Here's a great story about the history of HH, how Marilyn and Harry Lewis revolutionized casual dining in Los Angeles AND a couple of recipes.

Original Hamlet w/black & white striped awning on Sunset @ Hilldale, WeHo

Growing up in Beverly Hills, my parents often frequented the Hamlets on South Beverly Drive and on North Bedford Drive. I was a classmate of David Lewis, one of the sons of the founders, Marilyn and Harry Lewis. We often saw the Lewis' at the Hamlet, running around, checking to see if everything was handled well. It was a Beverly-Hi hang-out. We all had our favorite dishes. The Lewis' sold the HH chain years ago, but the remaining restaurants still served the same delicious food. After the sale of the Hamlet, Harry and Marilyn opened another successful restaurant in Beverly Hills, Kate Mantilini, that David and his brother Adam now operate. There's also a branch in Woodland Hills. It's a lovely place too, but has a different ambiance than good ol', comfy, clubby Hamburger Hamlet.

Tap Room, Hamburger Hamlet, Sunset 2011

Last night we ordered the Lobster Bisque, served with garlic cheese toast. We split the Mushroom Burger and substituted cheddar for swiss cheese. Everything was delicious. The only menu item missing from my youth was Egg Custard Lulu!

Lobster Bisque w/ Garlic Cheese Toast
Mushroom Burger

We might just have to make the trek out to Sherman Oaks or Pasadena for our next Lobster Bisque fix!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tidy Scrub Pattern

Tidy Scrub by Ellen Bloom

I worked up a new pattern for the Ravelry Winter ScrubbieLand Swap that I'm participating in. A scrubbie is a smaller washcloth, usually made from cotton or netting and very sturdy for lots of heavy cleaning. My pattern is called Tidy Scrub. I added a little strap across the back of the scrubbie so that it would be easier to place your hand through the strap and really scrub the dirt!!!

Materials: Small amount of kitchen cotton, worsted weight.

Hook: Size “G”

Finished Size of Scrubbie: Approximately 3-1/2 inches x 4".

Special Stitch: Quadruple Crochet OR Double Triple Treble: Make same way as double crochet, only at first wind thread four times over needle and pull thread through five times—two and two and two and two and two.

Scrubbie Portion

Chain 18 stitches.
Row 1: sc in second loop from hook, sc across. You should have 16 stitches.

Row 2: *sc 1, quadruple crochet 1* (see special stitches above), repeat from *to* until end, ending with quadruple crochet.

Row 3: sc across row in back loop of stitch.

Repeat rows 2 & 3 until desired size. My Tidy Scrub is about 3-1/2 inches across.


Single crochet around entire piece TWICE, being sure to place 3 single crochet stitches in each corner. Join.


Attach cotton to edge/back about 2 stitches from the edge of your Tidy Scrub. Single crochet through the back loops along one edge of the scrubbie (see photo above) until you reach close to the other edge (about 2 stitches away from the edge). My strap was about 9 stitches wide. Turn, ch 1, sc across. Continue in single crochet for as many rows as the scrubbie is wide or until you have a sufficiently large strap for your hand to fit snug. Attach the strap to the opposite end of the scrubbie by either single crocheting or sewing. Weave in ends.

OK! Now you are ready to scour your house with the amazing Tidy Scrub!

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fiddler's Bistro

Last week we joined our friends, Lori and Rick for a quick dinner. Lori and Rick suggested Fiddler's Bistro, near our homes. We'd only been there for breakfast, so dinner was a new experience for us.
Fiddler's Bistro is attached to the Park Plaza Lodge Motel on 3rd St., just east of the Original Farmers Market and The Grove. You can park in back, but there' s usually parking in front on 3rd St.
We all ordered different dishes. We started out with fresh bread and Roasted Eggplant spread and an appetizer of Fried Calimari. The Calamari was just OK, but the Eggplant was excellent.

Roasted Eggplant Spread
Fried Calamari Rings

Rick had the Lentil Soup (looked good). For our main courses, Lori ordered the Chicken Lulu plate; Rick had the Cobb Salad; Larry had the Steak Kabob plate and I ordered Meatloaf. All of our meals were delicious, reasonably priced and served beautifully.

Lentil Soup
Chicken Lulu Plate
Cobb Salad
Steak Kabob Plate
Meatloaf Dinner

We will definitely return to Fiddler's Bistro! I happen to be crazy about the mid-20th century architecture of the adjoining motel. LOVE that accordion-style roof line!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

All Around the Town

Button Section @Mood Fabrics

We zoomed around town quite a bit on Saturday. First stop: Mood Fabrics on La Cienega and Pico to look for Steampunk buttons. No luck finding buttons, but what a fantastic store!

Next stop: The L.A. Eyeworks Annual eyeglass frame sale on Melrose and Martel. Phew! It must have been about 90 degrees in West Hollywood on Saturday!

We had to wait in line to get into the sale. Luckily, the shop provides parasols for the anxious. I purchased ONE pair of eyeglass frames which shall be revealed at a later date.

It was a MADHOUSE inside L.A. Eyeworks!

We wanted a refreshing lunch, so we zoomed down to Pico Blvd. near Norton Ave. and had some yummy fish tacos and seafood cocktail at La Cevicheria. Everything was divine!

Fish Tacos
Seafood Cocktail

Saturdays with my Sweetie are the best!

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Vintage Photo Friday - Halloween

Are you ready for Halloween? No matter how old you are, it's still fun to celebrate! It's usually a quiet time of the year for us. Once in awhile we have some trick or treaters at our house. However, this year, we've been invited to three Halloween parties in addition to our neighborhood "Halloween Haunt" for the kids in Wilshire Vista. All of a sudden we're popular and so are Halloween get-togethers!
Each of our soirées requires a different costume. I thought just having a Halloween party was theme enough! Apparently not. Naturally, I cannot divulge any of my costume ideas yet. There will be photos at a later date.
Start planning your costume now and have a great weekend, my pretties!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Steampunk Style

Victorian Era Shawls and Capes

Steampunk style has been fairly popular among the Sci-Fi set for awhile now. The look is characterized by Victorian clothing, machines and elements that have gears, levers and are powered by steam. Envision the stories of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, also "The Wild Wild West" TV show of the '60s and the recent movies. I've always liked this genre of Sci-Fi that harkens back to pre-space age gadgets, gizmos, machinery and Victorian costumes of the Old West.

Victorian Steampunk Costume Party, Glendale 2009
I recently crocheted a capelet pattern called Chanson en Crochet. I just LOVE the look of this little cape. It's perfect to just throw over your shoulders when you're chilly or even over a coat when it's really cold outside. I modified the pattern of Chanson en Crochet a bit. I was mystified by some of the directions in the pattern. I know! I've been crocheting FOREVER and even I could not figure out the flower section in this pattern. After looking at many corrected patterns, I gave up and just crocheted a grid and then sewed on some separately crocheted puffy flowers.

Ellen's Steampunk Capelet, modeled by Miss Lisa

To make this pattern look more Steampunkish, I'm going to add some gear-like buttons. I'll be at Mood on Saturday checking out their button section, thanks to Tori who sent me a Groupon for the famous store!

Steampunk Button

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Seen Around Town

I like to snap photos wherever I am. Here are a few recent snaps from around Los Angeles and Pasadena.

Terracotta decoration, South Broadway, Downtown L.A.
Regency Style, South La Cienega, Los Angeles
Brentwood BakerySidewalk Chalk Art, Hollywood Blvd., East HollywoodWilma Flintstone in Jane Jetson's Ride, PasadenaGraffiti and Bougainvillea, Expostion Blvd., Los AngelesAbandoned Building, East Culver CityMetro Train Tracks, near Staples Ctr., Los AngelesPasadena Sidewalk

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery