Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Abstractions of the Soul

The Studio of Mike Tempo

Mike Tempo / Temple is a talented visual artist and musician that I have known for years.  I met Mike through my long-time radio partner, Juke Logan.  Tempo is a founding member of the Bonedaddys, a world-beat conglomeration of musicians who have been performing for more than 30 years.  Their music is joyous, mysterious and infectious all at the same time.  I was not surprised to learn that Mike was also a visual artist as well as an excellent percussionist.  Music=Art.

Bonedaddy, Mike

Artist, Mike

Larry and I recently changed up our living and dining rooms with new furniture.  We'll be painting these rooms a soft gray color.  We knew that we wanted a cool, abstract painting to hang above the couch.  I've been admiring the paintings that Tempo has been displaying on his Facebook page.  Yes!  We needed to have one of Mike's pieces in our collection.  I arranged a gallery visit for last Saturday.  

Mike's Zydeco Frottoir  sits among the paintings
The Percussion Section is in the garage

We had paintings spread out all over the yard!

Mike and Larry discussing how to photographically copy paintings

Wow! Tempo is a very prolific painter. It was difficult making a decision, but we narrowed our choices down to two.
"Day in L.A."  2014, 24 X 72
"Funky Bluesy ABC's"  2010, 36 X 60

Over the past few days, people have come over to our house and looked at both paintings. Larry and I both like both pieces, however we each have our favorite.  The deciding vote came in last night.  Gallery owner, art collector and scenester, Greg Escalante was over last night.  I asked for his professional opinion.  Greg said that our living room has a very "Mad Men" vibe and that  "Funky Bluesy ABC's" would look best. We will be painting the walls gray, moving the sconces and probably adding different throw pillows for a cohesive look. I'm very excited to own this original painting by Mike Tempo / Temple!
"Funky Bluesy ABC's"  2010, 36 X 60 

"Friend" Mike on Facebook so you can view more of his work and stay updated on his latest creations!

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Birthday, Pop!

George E. Bloom, 1926, Los Angeles

Today would have been my Dad's 96th birthday.  He passed a few months after his 85th birthday. We had visited The Grand Canyon and Kartchner Caverns for his birthday celebration.  I'm so glad that we got to spend that time together, visiting one of the most beautiful places in the west.
George, 1932.  Boy's Camp, Griffith Park
George, 1984. Marina del Rey
Ellen, George, 1980.  Bel Air

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Yarn Crawl Weekend

Frenzy time!  The 2015 L.A. County Yarn Crawl started yesterday.  Four days of crawling almost 30 independent yarn shops from Santa Clarita all the way out to Claremont and points in-between!  I've participated in all of the official Yarn Crawls in some way.  If I did not officially crawl with friends, at least I stopped by a few local shops to check out the specials and commune with my peeps.  We are lucky in the metropolitan L.A. area, from Santa Monica to Silver Lake, we have MANY shops to visit.
Last year's Yarn Crawl is a melancholy memory for many of my yarnie friends in the West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch.  Our fearless field trip organizer, Laurie-Ann Miller rallied around us and drove all four days of the Crawl.  Different folks traveled with Laurie-Ann on most of the days.  I was in her Friday group.  For many of us, it was the last time we saw Laurie-Ann before she passed away.  We had a great time investigating the shops of the far eastern reaches of L.A. County.  Read about our adventures here.
Yarn Crawl 2014, Leah, Marie, Brenda, Diane and Laurie-Ann. Purlside Yarn Shop, Glendora
On the Sunday of 2014's Yarn Crawl I picked up my Guild friend, Nancy and we whisked ourselves out to A Major Knitwork in Van Nuys to see how folks in the Valley knit. Apparently, just like us.
2014.  Nancy @A Major Knitwork with the former Crochet Car
Some of my past Yarn Crawl adventures, below:
2013.  Yarnover Truck in Santa Monica

2012 with Stephanie, Meri and Brenda in Redondo Beach

Unofficial Yarn Crawl, December 2005 with Natalie and Carla in Santa Monica and WLA

I was going to drop by the yarn shops close to my office on my lunch hour today so I could have my passport stamped. Yes, there are passports for the Yarn Crawl.  At the end of the event, you turn in your passport at your last shop, with all of the stores you visited stamped, to participate in a raffle for a divine yarny prize basket!
2014 Yarn Crawl Passport

I couldn't park in front of Wild Fiber Studio, so I continued on to Tuesday Morning, where I needed to pick up some wrapping paper.  Lo and behold...YARN!  There was lots of Lion Brand's newest yarn called "Tweed Stripes," half-price.  I resisted buying the orangey colorway, even though I really like it.  Instead I purchased some beautiful superwash sock wool called "Infusion Handpaints" by Universal yarn which has been discontinued. 

This Sunday I'll be participating in a mini-crawl with Suzette, Leah and Diane.  I look forward to visiting a few of our beachy, westside shops and having lunch with the goils!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

#tbt Throw Back Thursday

A few years ago, my cousin Marilyn's husband, Phil gave me a disc of some old photographs that he had scanned.  They are a treasure trove of my grandparent's photos that did not make it into their picture album.  
This is my cousin Marilyn's 9th birthday party with her close friends, cousins and sister.
Top row, L-R: Myrna Dorshkind, Rita George, birthday girl Marilyn Stein, Ronnie George.  Bottom row, L-R: Kenny Bloom, humongous cake, Carolyn Stein.  Sunset Plaza, L.A., 1949

This was before I was born. My brother, Ken is in the picture, along with my cousins Myrna, Marilyn and Carolyn. Rita and Ronnie are close family friends. Ron George just retired as 27th Chief Justice of California!
Marilyn and Carolyn lived with their parents in a home up above Sunset Plaza. I do not remember that home. They must have moved when I was a baby.
That birthday cake looks awesome!
Marilyn recently celebrated her birthday this past February. Happy belated b-day, Cuz!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Seen Around Town

I'm always on the lookout for interesting items in the street.  Sometimes I spot decaying buildings in fancy neighborhoods.  I like funny signs and street art.  Los Angeles is a fascinating town!

East Culver City, soon to be gentrified, I'm sure

Silverlake, of course

El Segundo Restaurant

Larchmont Village

Joann's Craft Store, WLA

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Flower Power Workshop

Saturday, at the end of our El Segundo Slipt Stitchers meeting, Lenora, Peggy and I conducted two crochet flower workshops.  Lenora and Peggy tackled the beginning crocheters with a simple flower pattern.  I was in charge of teaching a more complex, 3-dimensional flower to the intermediate and advanced crocheters.

Easy Flower

Advanced Flower
We had lots of ladies stay for the classes.  I would estimate that more than half of our members knit more than they crochet.  To me, it was very gratifying to see so many people wanting to learn about crocheted flowers!
We have some very fast learners in our Guild.  Even though some of these flowers are slightly wonky, at least everyone grasped the concepts.  Their NEXT attempt at crochet flowers will be brilliant!
Check out Dorothy's perfect beginner's flower, below!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Saturday Night Date

Tonkatsu Ramen at Silver Lake Ramen

On Saturday, after a very successful crochet flower class at the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers Guild and lunch with my Committee Ladies, I was exhausted!
By around 6-ish, I had revived a bit.  Larry and I went on a date.  I'd been wanting to try Silverlake Ramen.  We've been to almost every ramen restaurant in the Metropolitan L.A. area.  Silverlake Ramen has been open for a couple of years and I'd heard good reviews.  

There's a real phonebooth in the parking lot!

The line was fairly short, but we were there early for a Saturday.  We waited about 20 minutes, talked to some knowledgeable people in line and checked the menu.  For an appetizer, the Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, avocado, jalapeƱo and eel sauce was recommended.  It was excellent!

We both ordered the Tonkatsu Ramen (see top photo).  Larry added the special egg to his bowl.  I must say, the broth was the MOST delicious I've ever had.  It was not one bit greasy.  The pork belly was grilled on one side.  The noodles were super flavorful. Yes, this has to be one of my favorite bowls of ramen yet!
When we left the restaurant, there were tons of people waiting to get in!
Next stop....L.A. Eater recently review Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream parlor on Hillhurst in Los Feliz.  It just opened on Friday.  It was in the direction we were driving, so we passed by.  Yup.  The line was down the block.  We'll wait for the crowds to die down a bit before we go back.  I have heard marvelous things about Jeni's ice cream.
Now, we were on a quest for some ice cream.  I remembered that there was a newish place called Salt and Straw on Larchmont Blvd.  The line wasn't nearly as long as Jeni's, so we parked and walked up the block.  I always like strolling this Village street.  Many of the same stores I frequented during my Hollywood years are still there.

I had a small cone, filled with Sea Salt w/Caramel Ribbons.  Larry had a super scoop of Freckled Woodblock Chocolate.  Yes, they were both rich and delicious.  It was a perfect Saturday night date.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Vintage Photo Friday

Our last visit to San Francisco was in 2008.  It's time to go back.  We always stop at Quantity Postcards in North Beach.  I'm not sure if this little shop is still there, but Quantity does have an online presence. 
Pearl Bates, President of Motel Managers Training School. 1987, Quantity Postcards

I've been a secretary for a 100 years.  NOW, I'm an "Executive Assistant." I still use the term "secretary," because it's so retro and descriptive. "Secretary" was phased out when more males came into the field. I like my job. I've been in the entertainment field for MANY years, so everyday is interesting and different and seemingly glamorous to the outside world. I am an important cog in this wheel we call the business of show. The secretaries of the world hold the professional community together. No matter how digitized business functions are, people still need to interact with real people to get things accomplished!
Sooooo, whenever I see official photos of secretaries doing their job, I collect them!  Pearl Bates (above) is my hero.  Her photo has graced the front of my desk for a very long time. Even though Pearl is labelled as the President of the Motel Managers Training School in South City, Texas, she's sitting at a reception-like desk.  Everything about this photo is perfect, Pearl's pink suit, her hair, the French telephone on the desk and, of course, the sentiment, "May I Help You?"  I've aspired to Pearl's excellence forever.

Food Stuffs International Visitor's Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.  Quantity Postcards

Above is another fab example of someone who loves her job! Who would not want to sit under an elongated globe of the world, circled by a ring of Food Stuffs!?!
OK, it's Friday.  Time to put my stenographer's pad away, cover up my typewriter, turn off the mimeograph machine, let the phone service know that I'm closing the office and head out for the weekend!  Have a wonderful one, my friends.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Warm Weather Projects

Warmer weather calls for light-weight yarny projects. It's not pleasant to be working on a full-sized afghan, sweater or shawl, sitting on your lap when the weather is warm! Of course, if you're making an afghan from squares or strips, that's much better.
I like to make dishcloths, spa cloths and doilies and/or place mats in warmer weather. These are smaller projects, usually in cotton or light-weight yarn that are easy to transport.
Here are three spring and summer projects that caught my eye:
The Kaleidoscope Mandala would make an excellent hot pad or one side of a potholder. This is also a good project for using up small bits of leftover fiber.
Kaleidoscope Mandala

I saw this pattern on Ravelry and was enchanted!  I admire relief decoration in a piece.  I do love how a photograph of the trees, mountains and clouds inspired this washcloth, called 3 Sisters Mountains Cloth.  The 3 Sisters Mountains are in Oregon!
3 Sisters Mountains Cloth

Inspiration for 3 Sisters Mountains Cloth

My friend, Faith, is a beekeeper.  I saw this filet crochet chart online for a Bee Trapped in Filet Netting. Multiple squares would make an excellent veil for Faith's beekeeper hat!

Bee Trapped in Filet Netting
The Bee Square could also be paired with some floral squares for a wonderful afghan or table runner!
Has Spring inspired your yarny life?


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