Friday, October 27, 2017

2017 Stitch 'n Witch Spooktacular

There was KNITTING and CROCHETING at our party too!

We had a great time at last night's WeHo SnB event at the Original Farmers Market! Our costume parties are always fun. This year's optional theme was a costume inspired by Tim Burton characters. We had many other types of costumes too. To see ALL of the photos, click HERE

The costumes were great! Here are a few:
Our Cruise Director, Ms. Natalie was "Zero" from "Nightmare Before Christmas"
Sara did an amazing job on the costumes for the Insect Family! Have you ever seen such a glamorous cockroach?
1920s Flapper Girl Bridget was adorable!
Jenna was "Lydia" from "Beetlejuice," suitably subdued
"Bat Girl" Sara was fierce!
Lucas and Sean stayed in character all evening
Eve with Jason and Georgina brought some class and style to the event
My version of "Crochet Wonder Lady"
Natalie, Brenda C. and I contributed to the prizes
Wonder and Zero thank you all for participating!
ALL of the photos are HERE
Thanks to Mr. Larry for taking such GREAT photos!

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Stitch 'n Witch Spooktacular

Faboo Red Velvet BRAIN Cupcakes. Who made these?

Tonight is the night! Our West Hollywood Stitch 'n Witch Spooktacular starts at 7pm at the Original Farmers Market. We are in the upstairs dining area if you'd like to join us. If you're attending the party and NOT wearing a costume, be sure to bring a treat to share!
We've had some pretty fabulous treats in our past 13 years as a group. I might not remember who made these yummies, but I wanted to inspire you! Usually, Sara R., Faith, Yuki, Natalie and Stephanie are our chefettes extraordinaire. I, occasionally offer up some frightening food too!
Was this Stephanie's Green Goop Guacamole?
Ellen's Deviled Eyeballs

Halloween Cupcakes
Sara's Skelly Cakes
I attempted to bake Witch Finger Cookies last night. Feh. They don't look so great, but they taste good!
These are excellent Witch  Finger Cookies! Who made these? Sara? Faith?
Good ol' Bob's Doughnuts Halloween Special
I LOVE this idea for next year. Simple and Delicious. Peanut Butter Cups with Pretzel Sticks! Brilliant.

I look forward to seeing all my yarny friends tonight at our 2017 Stitch 'n Witch Spooktacular! Costumes AND treats! It's going to be so much fun!
Posada Calavera Elena de Wilshire Vista

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

USC Village

USC Village

After having dinner on Saturday at Holbox at El Mercado La Paloma, we stopped by to see the new USC Village. It was about 7:30 p.m, it was dark and the Village was all lit up. Very dramatic! Yes, I agree with many of the architectural reviews of this mixed-use center. It definitely reminds me of the Hogwarts Castle from the "Harry Potter" movie series. I'm thinking this was designed in this manner for a reason. Generations of kids were raised on the magical world of Harry Potter. They are college age now. What a perfect way to cater to those children! Of course, this faux-Gothic architecture compliments the many buildings on campus.
Hogwarts Castle at Harry Potter World, Orlando, Florida

I wish this shopping center had been in place when I was a student at USC. I was there pre-mall when all we had was the scary 32nd Street Market, which we affectionately called The 3-2. Whenever we needed to go to the market at night, we had to have our boyfriends accompany us!
I am a Trader Joe's person. One of my dream vacations is to visit every TJs in the country and pick up a regional shopping bag. I'm obsessed with those state bags! There is a  brand new TJs at USC Village. TJs issued a special USC tote bag when they opened this store. Sadly, there weren't any USC totes for sale. 

I do love how Trader Joe's always paints murals high on their walls, particular to the area that the store is located. This store is filled with USC Trojan images, incorporating TJs products of course.

Hey! What are the USC cheerleaders doing above the prepared MEAT section?!?

They sell LOTS of wine at this store!

A mini tribute to the original, Julie's Trojan Barrel, a bar at Figueroa and 37th St. Demolished for a parking lot in 1999. Sigh.

There's also a City Target, yoga studio, Starbucks, Fed Ex office, shoe and bicycle repair shops, fitness center and many restaurants in the USC Village plaza. The tall buildings are student housing. There's a magnificent dining hall that's REALLY reminiscent of Hogwarts!
Dining Hall. Photo from USC 
There is a large statue, "Hecuba" in the center of the plaza by Sculptor, Christopher Slatoff. She's quite lovely. Click HERE to see a full view of Hecuba.  

Needless to say, we were VERY dazzled with this development. Luckily, we managed to snag a parking spot on the street. At 7:30 on a Saturday night, NOT on a game day, the line to get into the underground parking was backed up around the block. I'm not sure where all of those people were. The plaza, shops and restaurants seemed deserted. This center is a boon to the neighborhood and will be appreciated by students, staff and locals!
One of my fellow alums predicts that the portion of Jefferson Boulevard where the center is located directly across from the USC campus, will be closed and one-day be absorbed by the campus. This will be a seamless transition from campus to day. 

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, October 23, 2017

Mercado la Paloma

Mercado la Paloma

Larry and I were dateless this past Saturday night, so we decided to cruise down to the Mercado la Paloma for dinner. We'd visited Holbox, a newish fish restaurant last May and we wanted to go back. Last time we had ceviche and the shrimp torta. This time, we tried the chiles rellenos de pescado appetizer and the pescado al carbon. Both were delicious! 
Spicy Chiles Rellenos stuffed with fish
Blackened Fish

I like this place. It's a fairly quick drive from our house on a Saturday night, providing nothing is going on at USC. There's a big, free parking lot and many food choices, including Thai, Ethiopian, Oaxacan, Mexican and more. There are also some cool gift shops.
Gift Shop at Mercado Paloma

All of the fish at Holbox is SO FRESH! The chef, Gilbert Cetina prepares everything on the spot. Even the corn tortillas are handmade. On Saturday Chef was offering 4 types of oysters!

On our way home we stopped by the new University Village at the northern end of USC. The Village is a MAJOR improvement over the 3-2 Market, decades ago, when I was a student at USC. Wow! I'll share pictures tomorrow.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Belle Époque Shawl

Kira Dulaney's Belle Époque Shawl

On Saturday afternoons I knit and/or crochet with a group of ladies in Santa Monica. We call ourselves the Ocean Park Fiber Artists. Previously, this group met at Fairview Branch Library in SM until they threw us out. We now meet at The Coffee Bean down the block.
Ocean Park Fiber Artists, L-R: Marian, Sherry, Meri, MaryLou, Barbara F, Ana, Lee, Barbara S.

One of the ladies in this group, Sherry, is a knitter. She knows how to crochet, but rarely practices. Sherry went on a knit retreat recently In Northern California. One of the knit designers in attendance was Kira Dulaney. Sherry was intrigued with one of Kira's crochet shawl patterns called Belle Époque Shawl.
Kira Dulaney's Belle Époque Shawl, close-up

Since I crochet more than I knit, Sherry asked me to help her with the pattern. There are written and charted directions. Sherry is more comfortable with the written instructions. I like charted patterns. Together, we figured out the pattern. It's a lovely pattern, very simple and shows off whichever yarn you decide to use. The main part of the shawl is a triangle. The stitches are easy double crochets with an eyelets every fifth row. The shawl border is a bit more complicated.
Kira Dulaney's Belle Époque Shawl, close-up

Sherry is using a beautiful sock-weight yarn in a cool, denim blue for the main part of her shawl. She will use a burgundy color for the trim. I was so enchanted by this pattern, so I decided to make one too. I had some yarn in my stash, gifted by my friend Carol years ago. It's from Art Fibers in San Francisco, called Sportif. It is merino wool tape. I have 448 yards. The fiber is rather bulky and the label suggests a #10.5 needle. I'm using a "K" crochet hook, so this project is going quickly for me. Once I finish the body of the shawl, I'm thinking of using a denim color for the edging. I'm using the reverse colors of Sherry's shawl for my Belle Époque. My yarn is less than delicate. We'll see how it turns out after blocking!
Ellen's Belle Époque Shawl in progress

The name for this shawl was chosen by designer, Kira Dulaney. The Belle Époque era is described beautifully by Wikipedia: "French for "Beautiful Era") was a period of Western history. It is conventionally dated from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.[1] Occurring during the era of the French Third Republic (beginning 1870), it was a period characterized by optimism, regional peace, economic prosperity, an apex of colonial empires and technological, scientific and cultural innovations. In the climate of the period, especially in Paris, the arts flourished. Many masterpieces of literature, music, theater, and visual art gained recognition. The Belle Époque was named in retrospect, when it began to be considered a "Golden Age" in contrast to the horrors of World War I."
The fashion and the architecture is rather frilly, grand and glorious. A perfect name for this lovely shawl design!
Belle Époque Fashion
Belle Époque Architecture in Paris

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Let's Touch Base

Larry's U-Basses

Let's touch base. Oh no! Let's touch BASS! Larry bought three ukulele basses this past weekend at an estate sale in the Valley. One bass was for our friend Natalie. He kept the other two. All three are the popular Kala brand U-Bass.There were two other ukulele basses at this sale, Gold Tone brand. The estate sale company had the basses listed at half or less than half of retail price. All were in excellent condition.
Check out those FAT strings!

The owner of these basses and many other instruments at this estate sale was Herb Mickman. He passed away in January. He was a respected musician and teacher in this town with quite a career behind him. You can read about his career in music HERE. Herb's students loved him. Here are a few of their comments. Larry and I were wondering why Herb owned so many of exactly the same make and model of ukulele bass. Maybe he bought them to sell to his students.
The young Herb Mickman. Inset, baby photo.

The two U-basses that Larry kept are standard Kalas. One is a bit fancier than the other. One has raised frets. One has markings where the frets should be.
Left: Fret Lines. Right: Actual Raised Frets.
Larry played bass for a very short time when he was in a garage band during high school. He has very good instincts and last night he was playing along with some music on TV and nailed the bass line. This is his perfect instrument!
Natalie's U-Bass

Above is the bass that Larry purchased for Natalie. She said that she's been plunking away on it just because she likes the sound. Now that we have three of these beauties, maybe we can get a group rate on some beginner lessons! Too bad Herb isn't around to teach us.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery