Friday, September 28, 2018

The OTHER RedKat

Last night our West Hollywood Stitch 'n Bitch group held a baby shower for one of our long-time members, Sarah. On Ravelry Sarah is known as "SarahSparkle."  Miss Natalie, our Cruise Director, named the new addition to Sarah's and Leon's family  "Sparkle Chen."  Perfect!
Sarah and Leon
I crocheted a red kitty cat softie for the new baby. I like the name RedKat. We have a performance space in Los Angeles, next to the Disney Concert Hall called Redcat. This stands for Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater.
The project was fun to crochet! I also knit a red tweed baby kitty hat for Sparkle Chen so he could look like his RedKat softie. I can't wait to see them posing together in their kitty ears.
RedKat Ravelry Page, Crochet Details

The baby shower was a success! We had to move from our usual upstairs dining area at the Original Farmers Market to a few tables downstairs, but we had a grand time. Cupcakes for all! I know that Sarah and Leon appreciated all of the beautiful hand-made items for Baby Chen. This little boy is going to be well-dressed! 
RedKat and Mommy Sarah

To see more photos of the shower, click HERE

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Los Angeles Natives

Ken and Ellen Bloom through the years

We are children of Los Angeles. My brother and I were both born here. I stayed. He left. Next week Ken comes back for a whirlwind visit to L.A. I look forward to seeing him. I wish my sister-in-law, Ginny was coming too, but time is short. They will return!

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Ukulele Festival 2018

Natalie and Cher

We had a GREAT time at the L.A. International Ukulele Festival in Torrance on Saturday. The classes were great. The food trucks were way more organized this year. It was breezy and sunny, a perfect Aloha day!

I met up with Natalie, Cher and Mary for a little strum-a-long and the first prize drawing of the day. Cher's friend, Mary from Topanga won a ukulele!! So cool!
Mary's new "prize" Ohana ukulele
UkuLenny and Cynthia Lin
I took three classes, Aaron Keim's Clawhammer class; Kris Fuchigami's Techniques and Embellishments class was really informative. We learned how to solo on a 12-bar blues in UkuLenny's class! 
Aaron Keim
Kris Fuchigami
UkuLenny and Cynthia Lin
Later in the day, we listened to Cali Rose and the CC Strummers play a set. I know a few people in this group because some of the Strummers are in my weekly Ukulele Workshop at Boulevard Music in Culver City. They sounded great and played some eclectic songs!

One of the most fun parts of the day was running into friends from other ukulele groups. I'm not sure of the final count, but there were hundreds of people at the Festival.
Deb and Joe
Christine and Cali
Brett "Tooch" Santucci, Leader of the Pluckin' Strummers
Susanna Sandke is at EVERY uke event I've ever attended, even in Port Townsend, WA!
It's also super fun to check out all of the vendors. They were selling everything from ukuleles to jewelry, songbooks and more!
I love how the natural knot-hole in the wood became the sound hole!

Oil Can Ukes
I'm especially fond of colorfully dressed people. Some of my faves on Saturday:

The Bunny Lady offered to place the bunny on top of my head. I declined.

Every year I figure out easier ways to navigate this festival. Next year I will take less gear and NOT plan anything in the evening after the festival. I was exhausted, but happy!

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

2018 Annual Dishcloth Swap

Yay! I finished my five dishcloths for this year's Ravelry swap! The rules are that you have to make five dishcloths of a certain size, all the same pattern, but you can use different colors for each cloth. This is a great stash-buster project. I used up quite a bit of my kitchen cotton. I do believe this is the eighth year that I have participated. 
The fun part of this swap is receiving five DIFFERENT dishcloths back! Since I'm on the swapping committee, I get to choose which gorgeous creations I'd like to keep. I must say, some years, the cloths are really beautiful works of art!
This year, I stole a pattern from a previous year called "Around The Block." Details are on my Ravelry Project Page.

Making the tags for each dishcloth with pattern info, type of cotton used, etc. is also part of the fun. For a few years, I've been using this tag. I like it because it encourages REUSE.

There's still a bit of time to crochet and/or knit your dishcloths to join in. September 28th is the deadline. Swap details are HERE.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ukulele Fun

Back Row, L-R: Fred, Deb, Casey, Debbie, Carol, Marisa, Ron
Front Row, L-R: Jim, Joe, Deb, Ellen, Michael

I've been attending Cali Rose's Ukulele Workshop at Boulevard Music in Culver City for a few years. We really do have fun figuring out songs, writing intros and endings to songs we all love. We play songs from yesteryear and today. Cali even wrote a nice arrangement for  a current song, the Academy Award winning song, "Remember Me," from the popular film, "Coco."
We sign up for 4 classes at a time, meeting on Saturdays from 10:30 am to noon. Most of the players in class are at the intermediate level. We have some beginners who graduated from Cali's beginning class, also at Boulevard Music. During our final class of each session, Cali asks one of the U-Bass players from the C.C. Strummers to join our class. The bass really makes our songs pop! Last Saturday Michael Kohan accompanied us!
U-Bass Player, Michael Kohan

We'll be taking off this Saturday to attend the Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival in Torrance. I'm really looking forward to the Festival. There are many workshops with different teachers from all over the country, concerts, a marketplace and more. It's always fun running into musicians I know from other ukulele classes around town.
Last Year's Ukulele Festival with Cher, Natalie and Cali. Torrance, 2017
I also LOVE seeing everyone's Hawaiian shirts, muu-muus, hats, flower leis and cool ukuleles. For me, THIS is the happiest place on earth!
Here's a really short video of Cali's Ukulele Workshop playing a bit of "Jump, Jive and Wail" last Saturday.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Disney's California Adventure

Larry and I have been working so much to get Mom situated in her new apartment, that we decided to take last Sunday off for a field trip day. We hadn't visited Disney's California Adventure in at least 10 or 12 years, so that's where we headed.
Tram into the Parks

Being architecture buffs, we hadn't seen all of the reproductions of famous Los Angeles buildings at the Cal-Adventure. I must say, walking through the "gates" of the old Pan Pacific Auditorium was quite thrilling!
Replica of the entrance of the Pan Pacific Auditorium
We spent a lot of time on Buena Vista Street, checking out the replicas of the Carthay Circle Theater, the Fairfax Market and more. We live quite close to where the Carthay used to be. I was sad that everything at Disneyland was decorated for Halloween already. It was a bit difficult to get the real look of all the buildings. Hollywood Boulevard was pretty good too, except that Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards do not intersect (creative license)! A lot of the street was dedicated to Los Feliz, where Walt Disney settled when he first landed in Los Angeles. Also, where the original Disney Studios were located.
Details of the Carthay Circle Theater replica, already decorated for Halloween
The best ride on Buena Vista Street is a replica of the old Red Car Trolley. We rode it a few times. I never did get to ride on the real Red Car when it was operating in L.A. I vaguely remember seeing the last of the Red Cars lumbering down Venice Boulevard in the early 1960s. Dad pointed it out to me and told me stories about traveling all over L.A. on the trolley.
Red Car Trolley and Larry with the Conductor
Frank Lloyd Wright design, Disney Style

We strolled through the Park, coming to the realization that there were more places to eat than actual rides on this side of Disneyland. California Adventure is the food court for Disneyland! We picked up our fast pass for the Radiator Springs Racers (about 4 hours later in the day). In the meantime, we rode a few of the kiddie rides.
Luigi's Rollicking Roadsters. "Mambo Italiano" was our song
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
Everything is beautifully articulated and art directed at California Adventure. The attention to design detail is amazing.

Pixar Pier
We ended up having a quick lunch at Flo's V-8 Cafe near Carsland. BLT. Went on a few more rides and walked through that forest-like park area. 
Grizzly River Run
Refreshing LIVE entertainment at Pixar Pier. Dig those wild outfits!

One of the more impressive displays of a current movie was for "Coco."  I just love all that Dia de Los Muertos design!
"Coco" Pavilion 

By 4pm, it was definitely time for a cocktail. We were quite close to the Grand Californian Hotel, so we walked into this craftsman wonder directly to the bar.
Cocktails at the Grand Californian Hotel
We ended our "adventure" with a swift ride on the Radiator Spring Racers. Dinnertime! Drove toward L.A. and stopped in La Mirada at Clearman's Northwoods Inn, which is a Disney-type environment.
Clearman's Northwoods Inn, La Mirada
It was a great day and a nice respite from work.

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery