Monday, June 30, 2014

4th of July Yarny Prep

Do you have your 4th of July projects ready for the festivities?  Here are a few faboo items to whip up before the 4th!  Hurry up!  You've only got 4 days left!

American Flag Wreath

4th of July Beach Bag

Catherine Wheel Flag Afghan

Flag Sweater

Beverage Can Holder

Patriotic Garden Potholder

Little Star Dishcloth

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday

Jack Kent Cooke with Architect, Charles Luckman during construction of The Forum, Inglewood. 1967.  Photo, LAPL Archives, Herald Examiner Collection

I love seeing photos of buildings under construction.  Above is The Forum in Inglewood.  The description on the LAPL listing reads: "Jack Kent Cooke (right), with architect Charles Luckman, during construction of the Forum in Inglewood. A former door-to-door encyclopedia salesman, the Canadian-born Cooke bought the Lakers in 1965 for $5.2 million. After acquiring the rights to an NHL expansion team, Cooke couldn't reach a deal with the Sports Arena (where the Lakers played). He then built the 17,000-seat, $16 million Forum across the street from Hollywood Park; the Kings debuted there on December 30, 1967. In 1979, Cooke sold the Lakers, the Kings, the Forum (and his California ranch) to Jerry Buss for a reported $67.5 million." 
The Forum, 1970s

Architect, Charles Luckman had quite an illustrious career.  You can read about him here
The Forum was built as a sports and entertainment venue.  I've been to a few games and many concerts there over the years.  From 2000 to 2012, the Faithful Central Bible Church owned the building, leasing it out for performances occasionally as well as using it for church services.  In 2012 the Madison Square Garden Company bought The Forum and has renovated it into a world-class concert venue.  They gave this beautiful building a snazzy orange and white paint job.  Thank you for rescuing this mid-20th Century structure!
The magnificent Forum, 2014

Have a wonderful weekend! 

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Hats

Ready to Battle The Sun

There was a time in my life when I worshipped the sun!  When I was a pre-teen and teen, everyday during the summer we'd take the bus or catch a ride to Santa Monica Beach, slather ourselves in baby oil (the better to fry our skin) and soak up the rays.  I was born with an olive complexion, so I usually tan quickly.  After a summer visit with my Grandma Freda she warned me about the sun and the damage it could do. Grandma had a beautiful, smooth complexion.  She was always buying miracle skin creams and potions. I didn't heed Grandma's advice until I was in my mid-30's.  By then I just didn't have the time to while away the hours at the beach baking myself. 
I should have listened to Grandma's advice when I was 16!  Luckily, I don't have too many wrinkles, just the obvious laugh lines and smile creases (along with drooping eyelids and a double chin)!
During the past 10 years I've become extremely sun-sensitive!  What?  For a SoCal beach baby, this is intolerable!  I get a sun rash if I'm exposed to the rays.  Now, I find myself wearing long sleeves, high neck shirts and socks during the summer.  The less skin showing, the better.  I have a number of hats to shade my face.  My personal favorite is my crown-less, brim hat (above).  I used to have about 10 of these in all different colors.  Over the years they have worn out, except for the orange one (with duct tape and staples holding it together) and my stylish black straw brim.
I was perusing Ravelry patterns the other day for brimmed hats.  I noticed a few good knit and crochet patterns.
Summer Hat
Floppy Brimmed Hat
Shine-On Sun Hat

The every-popular beer can hat has always been a favorite.  I wrote an entire post  8 years ago about how these hats have become fashionable again!  Here's a great pattern.  You don't have to use beer cans for your hat.  You can cut up any ol' tin can.  Years ago I made a Fresca can hat for my friend, Faith.

Faith's Fresca Can Hat

Yesssss!  I'm seeing a tin can hat made with Japanese Green Tea cans with a wide brim for mein kepelah this summer!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Poolside with Bette's and Steve's Guests

On Sunday, we were honored to be invited to Steve's big birthday party!  We've recently become friends with Steve and Bette.  We're all members of the L.A. Conservancy and attended tours together, as well as other events.  After talking with Bette for a bit, we realized that we grew up together and went to the same schools!  Bette is a year younger than me.  I vaguely remember her from the old days. Of course, we know ALL the same people!  It's always fun to re-meet people and re-new friendships after decades!
Steve's birthday party was held at their lovely mid-century modern home in the Hollywood Hills.  The weather was pleasant and their back yard was perfect to handle ALL of the people present.  The delicious food and drink, the garden setting,  decorations and flowers were so festive.  

Dinner was catered by El Tepeyac  (yum!)

My old friend, Doug "Legacy" Lacy provided the music for the party.  During Doug's break, while we were eating dinner, the mariachis descended!  Wow!  Talk about a lively group.  The mariachi band took requests and serenaded the party.  
Doug Lacy entertains

We ran into a few old friends and acquaintances and met many new people.
Rhonda and Ellen
Party Animal
There was scrumptious birthday cake, speeches about Steve and lots of laughs.  Needless to say, we had a wonderful time at this warm and friendly party!  
Happy Birthday, Steve!
Steve and Bette (center) surrounded by Bette's brother and sisters
The Modern Mid-Century Larry

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tea Time

Back Row: Ellen, Natalie, Meri, Diane, Jenna.  Middle Row: Brenda, Diane, Amy, Mary Jo, Leah.  Front Row: Lauren, Sarah, Catherine

On Saturday we celebrated the upcoming marriage of Sarah Sparkle and her fiancé, Leon.  Lauren organized a lovely tea party for the bride at the Chado Tea Room at the Hollywood and Highland Center.  All of the participants are members of our West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch group.  We meet weekly at the Original Farmers Market and have become (excuse the pun) a tight-knit club.

High tea was served, including several selections of yummy teas, finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, sweets.  Bridal games were played.  Winners received fantastic prizes.  

Pom-Poms are a theme for the upcoming wedding and reception

The best part was seeing all the gifties that Sarah received.  We have a very talented group!  Along with faboo gift certificates and household items, many of our crowd created handmade gifts for the happy couple.   

Sarah with Natalie's Love Pillow creation, made with mini-pom-poms!

To see more photos of this lovely afternoon, click here.  Congratulations to Sarah and Leon.  We look forward to seeing photos from your big day in Madison!

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Monday, June 23, 2014

2014 Dishcloth Swap

We were VERY busy this past weekend.  So busy, that I just don't know where to begin!  I need a little zen-like calm before I take on the weekend's festivities here on my blog.  
Time to crochet some dishcloths for the 2014 Annual Dishcloth Swap! Crocheting always calms me down. With all the crocheting and knitting I do, I should be comatose by now!  Five cotton dishcloths, same pattern (different colors) are due at the end of August.  I will receive five different dishcloths in return.
I looked through the dishcloth patterns on Ravelry.  Nothing piqued my interest. Then I decided to look at my various Japanese crochet books.  I do not read Japanese, but the charts in these beautifully photographed books are easy to understand.  I chose #36 from a book entitled "Handmade Crochet Book: Making Motifs & Braids" (モチーフ & ブレードでつくる) by Sachiyo Fukao (深尾幸世). 

My cloths are all going to be crocheted in the natural color.  This first cloth ended up being 8" across.  Perfect.  Dishcloth size requirements for this swap are 6-9 inches.  I will use a different color pastel cotton for the edging of each cloth.  Instead of the lacy edge in the pattern chart, I've decided to crochet a simple picot along the edge of each cloth. 
One down, four to go!

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday. My Freeway

1964. Santa Monica Freeway under construction at La Cienega and Venice Boulevards. Courtesy of the L.A. Times Photo Archive, UCLA Library.

I travel the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) from Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles to Cloverfield Boulevard in Santa Monica daily.  This is an eight mile trip.  On light traffic days it can take 10 minutes.  On heavy traffic days my drive can last more than one hour each way.  Needless to say, I will be delighted when the Expo Line Metro train to Santa Monica is completed, hopefully in 2015. 
I vaguely remember when the Santa Monica Freeway was built, at least the portion that ran south of our neighborhood between Overland Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard.  Most east-west drives during my childhood usually took place on one of the major thoroughfares, Pico, Olympic, Wilshire, Santa Monica Boulevard or Sunset.  We usually took Pico to the Beach by car; Wilshire by bus when I was a pre-teen.  Sunset Boulevard was reserved for our trip to my Grandparents' home in Hollywood.  I even remember going to Palm Springs in the late 1950's primarily on City streets (La Brea Avenue became Hawthorne Boulevard....etc.).
It was a BIG deal when the Santa Monica Freeway could take us all the way to Pacific Coast Highway.  It was like flying to the beach.   I also remember my Dad talking about how so many houses were being torn down along the route of the I-10, mostly in neighborhoods east of us (West Adams to University Park).  Neighborhoods were divided and changed when the freeway was built.  This was definitely progress for our City.  In hindsight, the L.A. Metro system should have been coordinated at the same time!
1962.  Dignitaries and spectators at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the Santa Monica Freeway. Herald Examiner Collection, L.A. Public Library
1965.  California Governor, Pat Brown along with other dignitaries (I spot Tom Bradley and Kenny Hahn) and Beauty Queens at Ribbon-cutting ceremony, Santa Monica Freeway. Herald Examiner Collection, L.A. Public Library

Another momentous time in the history of MY Santa Monica Freeway was in 1994 when the portion of the I-10 near La Cienega Boulevard collapsed during the Northridge earthquake.  This collapse forced people back onto our City streets to traverse town just like the old days!  Thankfully, the I-10 was repaired quickly and back to traffic as usual.

1994.  Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, UCLA

1994.  AP Photo/Eric Draper

Have a great weekend, cruising the freeways!

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