Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

1958. Hollywood Memorial Park is now known as Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Photo from LAPL Archives, Herald-Examiner Collection

Memorial Day is a day to remember all the people who have served, and are serving, in the armed forces; our surviving veterans; and to honor those who have died in past wars. Below is a photo of my Dad, George, and his brothers soon after World War II, posing in their uniforms. Thanks, guys!
Mort, Hi and George Bloom.  Los Angeles, 1946

Lately, the Memorial Day holiday has been known as the kick-off to the summer. We understand it to be just another day off from work, time for a short vacation, sales at the mall or the family barbecue get-together. 
From Wikipedia, here's the description of the Memorial Day Holiday: Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 29 in 2017). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military serviceFirst enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War), it was expanded after World War I.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Tinkertown!


This past Sunday, Shayne and I visited the Tinkertown Museum and grounds in the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico. I'd heard about this place and wanted to see it in person. Wow! Ross Ward, the creator of Tinkertown, starting carving figures for the various miniature vignettes in 1962. He continued his folk art passion until his premature death in 2002. Ward's family maintains and adds to the musem.
Most of the exhibits are housed in these ramshackle buildings, resembling an old western town
Not only are there carved vignettes of old western towns (some of them are animated), circuses and such, there is a collection of western memorabilia, antiques and Americana in the winding hallways of this rambling museum.
Photographs really do not do this place justice. You must visit to see the work that went into this interesting folk art environment!

The Circus with animated features
Tiny carved men working on a tiny carved building! I have a feeling that this place will never be finished!


Detail of tiny carved horses
Click on photos to embiggen
Outdoors there is a wall made of bottles, a large yacht, a decorated art car and more. 
Decorated Art Jeep
Bottle Wall

Thanks for driving us out to the Sandia Mountains to see this cultural landmark, Shayne!


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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Albuquerque's Fiber Fiesta




I attended Fiber Fiesta in Albuquerque this year with my good friend, Shayne. The Fiesta is organized by the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Council. This is a juried show and exhibition with many vendors, held at EXPO New Mexico in the Manuel Lujan Complex. Two large convention-like spaces were filled with quilts, weaving, knit and crochet items, felted art and more. It was a feast for the eyes. We both were very inspired by many of the pieces. Here's a small sample of some of the art we saw:

"Elsie" quilt. I LOVE Elsie
Knit Hand-Warmers
The Felted World
Woven Wall Hangings
Woven Dish Towel, too pretty to use!
The obligatory New Mexico church Quilt
Hand-made leather shoes and sandals
Whimsical Critters


Felted Hats

Latvian Design Knit Mittens. Blue Ribbon Prize!

Our Lady of Guadalupe Crocheted Shawl. A very CREATIVE crochet artist!
There were so many vendors! Many booths offered hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn. I managed to restrain myself and only purchase one beautiful skein of Sandia fingering sock weight merino and nylon blend yarn from ZiaWoolz. This particular skein's colorway is called "Bee Keeper in Love," dyed by Dagmar, pictured below.
Dagmar from ZiaWoolz

I have other skeins in similar tones that I may combine into some fabulous project!
I am SO making a throw like this, using leftover sock yarn and the corner-to-corner stitch. Seen at the ZiaWoolz Booth

My L.A. friend, Shayne has lived in Albuquerque for ten years, so we ran into a few of her friends. It was a delightful afternoon of yarnyness and inspiration!

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Soft and Hard Art

Last Saturday we made the trek out to Highland Park for the North East L.A. art walk. We met up with our friends Suzette and Mark for dinner at the Good Girl Dinette and then wandered across the street to Future Studio.
Good Girl Dinette, Highland Park
Chicken Boy, the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles, lives on the roof of Future Studio

We ALWAYS visit Future Studio, since this is the gallery our friends, Amy and Stuart own. An added plus is that Chicken Boy lives here. This month, the quilts of Ruby Nishio were on view. We saw Ruby's first solo show at Future in 2010. I must say, Ruby's work has only gotten better over the past seven years!
Ruby Nishio in 2010

Larry Blends Right In. This was my MOST favorite quilt!

Close-Up of Favorite Quilt



Quilted Potholders by Ruby Nishio

Tom, talking to Claire at Future Studio


Ruby often uses Japanese-inspired fabrics in her quilt designs. She also uses floral patterned fabrics that speak to her love of gardening. All the quilts are pieced together meticulously into intricate patterns and are then hand-quilted. It was an inspiring show! I recently found out that Ruby is in her 90s!
Mona, Jeff and Larry
Tom and Barbara

Heather and Gallery Owner, Amy

Larry and Ellen

We saw many friends at the opening and had a wonderful time.
Next stop on the Gallery Tour was Avenue 50 Studio, right next to the Metro Line train tracks. There are five rambling gallery rooms in this complex. Each room had a different show. I'd heard a piece on NPR Radio during the day about the show in the first gallery, curated by artist, Eric Almanza. The show is called "Art as Resistance: Paintings in Protest to a Trump Presidency." All five rooms and the sidewalks outside were packed! The painting that took my attention in the first gallery was "A Banquet Without Consequences" by Alex Schaefer. Read about it here. I was immediately attracted to Schaefer's depiction of Warren Buffet in the center, playing the ukulele. This reminded me of the phrase "Nero fiddled while Rome burned."
"A Banquet Without Consequences" by Alex Schaefer, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 44

In addition to other paintings and sculptures in Gallery One, there was a Trump piƱata stuffed with post-it notes from protesters to his administration. Later in the evening, the Trumpster was dethroned.
Protests come spilling out along with candy!
We spent a lot of time in the subsequent galleries, including the following shows: "Animating the Archives: The Women's Building," "Herencia (Inheritance)" and the Arroyo Arts Collective Space. I spied actress, Dakota Johnson in one of the galleries. I kinneared a photo of her.
Dakota Johnson in the Women's Building Gallery at Avenue 50 Studio

It was an exhausting, but rewarding evening!

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

iHeart Hearts

We always need more heart in this world! I know it's corny and cliche', but I really like things with hearts on them. I like to wear a little heart around my neck almost every day. When I turned 18 my boyfriend at the time gave me a small, diamond-ringed heart on a slender chain. I still have that heart and wear it once in awhile. I forgot to photograph it this morning, but here are some of the hearts that I wear currently:

When the cartoon, "Cathy" started showing up in my daily newspaper in 1976 (written by Cathy Guisewhite), I immediately identified with the character. Cathy always wore a shirt with a heart on it.  I wanted to be just like Cathy.
"Cathy" by Cathy Guisewhite

My heart obsession has carried over to my crochet and knit projects. I've made dishcloths, potholders, hats, doilies, hats and more with hearts on them.
Heart Dishcloth
Baby Fez with Heart
Fair Isle Hearts
Heart Doily
I've recently added to my jewelry heart collection with a lovely 3-D heart pendant, designed by my Ravelry and Instagram friend, Betty. Betty is very talented. She knits, sews and designs jewelry. I love my new polished nickel 3-D heart!
My new 3-D Heart Pendant

The ULTIMATE knit heart design, for me, is the "May You Find Peace In Your Heart" design by Susan Mrenna. One of these days I will knit this into a sweater.
"May You Find Peace In Your Heart" knit chart by Susan Mrenna

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Hiren's BootCD
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